Rugby This is another astonishing plugin!
Joey Carbery hasn’t had much luck lately, so last weekend when he crumpled to a heap after getting his ankle caught awkwardly while making a tackle, his and everyone else’s natural inclination was to automatically fear the worst.
The sight of the motorised stretcher being called for and the look of utter devastation on Carbery’s face heightened those worries because, after all, he has already had ankle problems in the past.
That Carbery put himself into the position to make the crucial hit so close to the line is the mark of a man, who despite already enduring more than his fair share of setbacks, is still willing to put his body on the line for the good of the team.
Given how much time that he has spent learning from Johnny Sexton, that should not come as much of a surprise. But it does continue to beg the question: should out-halves protect themselves more?
In the modern game in which the pace and physicality is relentless, that is easier said than done, yet there is a feeling that a better balance can be struck.
Jonny Wilkinson is widely regarded as the one who changed out-half play and what is expected of them defensively.
Sexton certainly relishes the physical exchanges, while so too does Owen Farrell. Taking the ball flat to the line and putting yourself in the firing line has now almost become a prerequisite, but that doesn’t work for every 10.
Carbery, however, is at his most lethal when he is running at defences with his searing pace and electric footwork.
International Rugby Newsletter
Opposition teams will target every out-half regardless of their shape or size, so i
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