Gordon D’Arcy Has Some Advice For Conor Murray
Conor Murray is widely regarded as the best nine in world rugby right now.
As a result he has now become a target for the opposition, due to the threat he brings in every game he plays for both Munster and Ireland.
This is normal in any sport, and has been repeated for many years. If you can take out the opposing teams biggest threat, then you will always have a better chance.
Glasgow tried this on Saturday, and while it was somewhat cynical, it has the desired effect on Murray, as it clearly got to the Irishman. Former Ireland and Leinster centre spoke about this in his column for the Irish Times today and has some advice for Murray.
Conor Murray had a really good game despite the suspected concussion and Glasgow forwards honing in on him for a little extra examination.
Murray was, clearly, targeted. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Any team that wants to negate Munster and Ireland need to get to him.
There is no bigger compliment. This is not going to cease. Conor will go away and look at these incidents and refine his technique, ever so slightly, to ensure those diving at his standing leg do not injure him or disrupt his mindset.
I’m sure Rassie Erasmus will pull him aside and say ‘Welcome to the Big League.’
The best nine in the game must be able to cope with cheap shots or little moments, like being held after play moves on.It happens to all the great scrumhalves. I was fortunate enough to play for the Barbarians against England at Twickenham in 2009. Justin Marshall was at Saracens at this stage, at the tail end of a career that yielded 81 tests for the All Blacks, but the English backrow still managed to rattle him early on. They were grabbing him off the ball and just winding him up, because the likes of Dylan Hartley, Lewis Moody and Nick Easter knew this was the smartest route to disrupting any Baabaas rugby.It didn’t work because Marshall kept his composure to ensure Iain Balshaw, myself (in purple Clongowes socks) and Rocky Elsom (at the end of his brilliant season in Dublin) all cut loose for tries in a 33-26 win
The next few months will be a real test for Murray. If he wants to go down as the world’s very best, he must be aware that he’s going to be targeted and deal with it appropriately.