Munsters instinctive Keatley wouldnt expect to be judged on just one match

first_imgKeatley was part of the Emerging Ireland squad last summer. ©INPHO/Tamuna Kulumbegashvili.As alluded to earlier, Keatley’s kicking from hand is an aspect of the game that has been important to his performances this season. The Munster playmaker gave the assist for Keith Earls’ try in the first half against Gloucester and again explains that it was a spur of the moment action.While his two grubber kicks later in the game were poor, Keatley says he will continue to back his decision-making.“I had a nice grubber kick for Earlsie at the weekend. To be honest with you, it was just that myself and Keith were on the same wave-length for that. We both called it at the exact same time, we recognised that the defence was coming up hard and there was nothing in the backfield.That’s just with playing with a guy for a number of years now, we were just both on the same wavelength. I kicked it another time, we had a penalty advantage, so we kind of see that as a good opportunity for a ‘free play’ kick.“The other time, I didn’t see one of their players. I thought there was space in the backfield, but when I kicked it I thought, ‘That wasn’t the right decision.’ I’d still back my decisions, even if one or two times we put in the grubber kicks, it wasn’t on. At least we’re trying to create stuff to score more tries.”That will be the aim again for Keatley and his Munster teammates when they face Edinburgh at Thomond Park on Sunday. Securing a home quarter-final may not be totally in their hands this weekend, but another European win en route to the knock-out stages would be a further marker in the southern province’s development.In focus: Managing injuries is part of professional rugbyEarls’ try was an example of ‘where we’re trying to get’ – Rob Penney THE WEEK AFTER his worst performance of the season against Ulster, Ian Keatley needed something to get him settled into the game against Gloucester at Kingsholm last Saturday.For a man whose confidence was at a low ebb, that crucial play was surprisingly a purely instinctive one. His first touch with the boot had been an attempted cross-field kick to Johne Murphy, but one that scuffed off the inside of his foot and forced the winger to check his run.With 13 minutes and 41 seconds on the clock, Keatley found his kicking range wonderfully and didn’t look back for the remainder of the game. The 26-year-old appears to be at his most comfortable when he plays off-the-cuff, allowing his footballing instincts to do the work. That Keatley was capable of bouncing back so impressively from his Ulster disappointment was, in part, down to the support and encouragement he received from the people closest to him. Phone calls from head coach Rob Penney and backs specialist Simon Mannix the day after the Pro12 loss were important.His team mates rallying behind him and and the “great belief” the Dublin native’s family have in him were also crucial. However, Keatley rightly points out that he “wouldn’t expect to be judged on just one match; as I wouldn’t expect to be judged on just the Gloucester match either.”It’s clear that some of Irish rugby’s most knowledgeable minds did not condemn Keatley in the aftermath of his Ulster display, given that Penney selected him at out-half against Gloucester and that Joe Schmidt named him in the 44-man Ireland squad this week.Keatley is hopeful that game time in the Ireland Wolfhounds clash with the England Saxons on the 25th of January in Kingsholm can see him further his reputation.“To get recognised and to see your name in the Irish squad [is great]. I’d say more than likely I’ll be involved in that Wolfhounds team to play the Saxons, whether that’s starting or subbing. I’m just looking to go out there and hopefully just make an impression on the coaches.“Hopefully if I get my chance to impress, I’ll take it.”center_img I’m just trying to do what the right thing for the team is at that time,” he told TheScore.ie. “The first thing I stepped up on at the weekend, we had a scrum on the halfway line and we had a move called. I think I just made a decision and went ‘No, I’m putting this into the corner.’“I think once I did that, I started to grow and back myself a bit more, just went with the flow and did what I felt was the right thing to do; whether is was passing, or kicking.”last_img

first_imgKeatley was part of the Emerging Ireland squad last summer. ©INPHO/Tamuna Kulumbegashvili.As alluded to earlier, Keatley’s kicking from hand is an aspect of the game that has been important to his performances this season. The Munster playmaker gave the assist for Keith Earls’ try in the first half against Gloucester and again explains that it was a spur of the moment action.While his two grubber kicks later in the game were poor, Keatley says he will continue to back his decision-making.“I had a nice grubber kick for Earlsie at the weekend. To be honest with you, it was just that myself and Keith were on the same wave-length for that. We both called it at the exact same time, we recognised that the defence was coming up hard and there was nothing in the backfield.That’s just with playing with a guy for a number of years now, we were just both on the same wavelength. I kicked it another time, we had a penalty advantage, so we kind of see that as a good opportunity for a ‘free play’ kick.“The other time, I didn’t see one of their players. I thought there was space in the backfield, but when I kicked it I thought, ‘That wasn’t the right decision.’ I’d still back my decisions, even if one or two times we put in the grubber kicks, it wasn’t on. At least we’re trying to create stuff to score more tries.”That will be the aim again for Keatley and his Munster teammates when they face Edinburgh at Thomond Park on Sunday. Securing a home quarter-final may not be totally in their hands this weekend, but another European win en route to the knock-out stages would be a further marker in the southern province’s development.In focus: Managing injuries is part of professional rugbyEarls’ try was an example of ‘where we’re trying to get’ – Rob Penney THE WEEK AFTER his worst performance of the season against Ulster, Ian Keatley needed something to get him settled into the game against Gloucester at Kingsholm last Saturday.For a man whose confidence was at a low ebb, that crucial play was surprisingly a purely instinctive one. His first touch with the boot had been an attempted cross-field kick to Johne Murphy, but one that scuffed off the inside of his foot and forced the winger to check his run.With 13 minutes and 41 seconds on the clock, Keatley found his kicking range wonderfully and didn’t look back for the remainder of the game. The 26-year-old appears to be at his most comfortable when he plays off-the-cuff, allowing his footballing instincts to do the work. That Keatley was capable of bouncing back so impressively from his Ulster disappointment was, in part, down to the support and encouragement he received from the people closest to him. Phone calls from head coach Rob Penney and backs specialist Simon Mannix the day after the Pro12 loss were important.His team mates rallying behind him and and the “great belief” the Dublin native’s family have in him were also crucial. However, Keatley rightly points out that he “wouldn’t expect to be judged on just one match; as I wouldn’t expect to be judged on just the Gloucester match either.”It’s clear that some of Irish rugby’s most knowledgeable minds did not condemn Keatley in the aftermath of his Ulster display, given that Penney selected him at out-half against Gloucester and that Joe Schmidt named him in the 44-man Ireland squad this week.Keatley is hopeful that game time in the Ireland Wolfhounds clash with the England Saxons on the 25th of January in Kingsholm can see him further his reputation.“To get recognised and to see your name in the Irish squad [is great]. I’d say more than likely I’ll be involved in that Wolfhounds team to play the Saxons, whether that’s starting or subbing. I’m just looking to go out there and hopefully just make an impression on the coaches.“Hopefully if I get my chance to impress, I’ll take it.”center_img I’m just trying to do what the right thing for the team is at that time,” he told TheScore.ie. “The first thing I stepped up on at the weekend, we had a scrum on the halfway line and we had a move called. I think I just made a decision and went ‘No, I’m putting this into the corner.’“I think once I did that, I started to grow and back myself a bit more, just went with the flow and did what I felt was the right thing to do; whether is was passing, or kicking.”last_img

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