Good vibes only as Joey Carbery shows he is back to full health

Ireland outhalf came on for Sexton and displayed his full array of skills against Samoa

Joey Carbery seemed back to full fitness as Ireland beat Samoa in Fukuoka. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

Joey Carbery seemed back to full fitness as Ireland beat Samoa in Fukuoka. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

 

The contrast in overall mood is stark but Joey Carbery remains the same shade of calm.

After defeat to Japan on September 28th Carbery was met in the mixzone by a reel of questions about the game ending kick. The decision to settle for a bonus-point defeat - with Ireland camped on their own try line and nobody showing on his shoulder to prompt a Carlos Spencer type length of the field revival - sparked plenty of invective.

“I got a bit of heat for it but now it’s alright,” said the 23-year-old. “All that matters is we are through to the quarters. Anything can happen now.”

Anything at all. Ireland, with Carbery finally feeling “back to himself after the ankle injury,” have picked themselves up off the floor with a confidence inducing, Johnny Sexton inspired performance with Carbery closing down the show.

As it was always supposed to be.

“There is a huge week coming up. Obviously one of the biggest weeks of our lives. There is a huge positive in that.

Ireland’s Joey Carbery is tackled by Samoa flanker Chris Vui hooker Ray Niuia. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty
Ireland’s Joey Carbery is tackled by Samoa flanker Chris Vui hooker Ray Niuia. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty

“I think we are building well, it’s hard to know where the peak is. We’ve been together for so long we are clicking a bit now. It was great to get that good a performance.

“You can kind of feel it during the week at training. There was a good vibe. Monday and Tuesday were probably our best sessions of the campaign so far. There was a good vibe throughout the week.”

Carbery’s performance showed signs of full health and the array of skills that instantly made him the central figure at Munster last season.

“Yeah, it was good. I felt back to normal almost. It was great to be back out there, with lads around me, yeah it was fun.”

Andrew Conway’s try was made in Thomond Park.

“I could see there was no one in the back field and he is always itching for that. I’ve done it a few times with Munster. He is a good man to chase after.”

The young playmaker never wavered. Same in this moment as he was under the crushing agony after losing to the hosts in Shizuoka.

“We just know how much talent is in the group. We stick together. Try to block out as much negative as we can and we can overcome anything, we’ve done it before and we just need to do it again. I think the collective really shined today shows how strong the group is.”

Ignore the media basically?

“Pretty much yeah.”

No worries, Joey Carbery is just warming up.

“Hopefully I’ll be involved in some sort of way but I’m finally coming back to my normal self after the ankle. It was a tough couple of weeks but I’m delighted to be back. Credit to the physios. Foxy [Keith Fox] especially has put in incredible hours.”

We ask about his Dad’s rugby days in New Zealand. Sid Going gets a mention.

“He played for Northland, with and against the All Blacks. He was a 10 who played 15.”

Sounds familiar.

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