independent

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Tadhg looks a Test cert

Rugby

Tadhg Furlong is challenged by Jordan Taufua on Saturday
Tadhg Furlong is challenged by Jordan Taufua on Saturday

Tadhg Furlong now looks a Test certainty, having delivered a mighty statement in the Lions' 12-3 victory over previously unbeaten Crusaders on Saturday.

This was an important victory for the touring team after losing their opening two games. It was the first time the Crusaders had been kept try-less in two seasons, and only the first time in 315 games that they had registered so few points.

When the opportunity knocked, Furlong certainly made the position his own for the opening test in less than two weeks' time with a powerful display in the tight.

There was no let-up in his work as the Lions capably dealt with what is expected to be the All Blacks front five for the opening test.

Furlong was also powerful in the loose, apart from one mishandle of the greasy ball early in the game, but he got in some powerful carries as he took on the big hitters.

He laid off some excellent ball for his scrum-half Conor Murray who, along with the outstanding Owen Farrell, dictated the trend of the game.

Now Furlong wants to back up that victory with another performance.

Having more than matched the powerful All Blacks Joe Moody and Wyatt Crockett in the scrum, the former New Ross player said his team took heart from an improved performance and are aiming for more.

'Everyone is delighted to bounce back as a group, and delighted to show a bit more fluency in our play,' he said.

'There's a fair bit more of work on but I think there's definitely signs of improvement there. The boys ran the line-out really, really well, but scrum-wise there's a bit to improve on.

'It's early,' Furlong stressed. 'Because you're playing games, two a week, you don't get a massive amount of time on the training paddock. The review is really important.

'The quality of players within our group are good enough to adapt their game. You're going to have to back up a performance with a performance and improve if we want to really compete.'

Wexford People

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