Joey Carberry Reflects On Beating The All Blacks In His Ireland Debut

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How do you define the perfect debut?

Leinster and Ireland playmaker Joey Carberry might be able to help us out, after he was part of the Irish team that beat the All Blacks for the first time in 111 years for his. Carberry had just turned 21 and came on for the last 20 minutes in the historical game.

A surprise pick to begin with, Carberry did not look one bit out of place and helped close out a famous win over the world champions. Six months previous he was playing AIL for his club side Clontarf.

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Speaking to The Independent in a brilliant interview, the New Zealand born star reveals what it was like to be a part of such a special game.

“At the end of the day it was just another game of rugby but at the same time I don’t think it had really sunk in completely either, all that had happened,” he says.

“It’s sinking in a bit now, but I don’t think it’ll ever hit me how cool and big an event it was. Aaron Cruden came up and gave me his jersey and wouldn’t take mine, so I thought that was really nice of him.

“They’re hanging up at home, I’ll get them properly framed but at the moment it’s pretty cool to just go home and take them down and have a look at every now and again.”

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Carberry admitted it was a shock to the system after the game when he realised who he had just played against- and beat.

It went by so quickly and it was a bit of a blur looking back on it,”

“It was such a cool experience to be over there, even the buzz on the airplane going over, I’ll remember that and be so excited.

“Especially turning 21 and having my dad there, it was pretty cool. He got there on the Thursday, I’d cousins from LA over too.

“I was nervous before the game, but I was more excited than nervous. Even sitting on the bench, I didn’t expect to get on. I was just so excited that I didn’t see the whole event come into play. I was just focused on getting out there and doing my role.

“Afterwards I was a bit more overwhelmed about how massive the event was.

“At the time I tried not to process it too much. You are playing against some of the best players in the world, but afterwards I was a bit shocked and saying, ‘Holy crap, I played against this guy or that guy’. At the time you have to just concentrate on your own game rather than what they might do.”

No doubt he’ll pick up where he left off when he returns from injury.

Jason Hennessy

Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor at RugbyLAD. Any queries big or small you can reach him at jason@rugbylad.com
Jason Hennessy