Tom Daly a major doubt for crunch game against Baby Blacks

But injury worries over Currow native Seán McCarthy abate

Tom Daly (centre) after the win over Fiji. Photograph: Jean Claude Le Boulicaut/Inpho

Tom Daly (centre) after the win over Fiji. Photograph: Jean Claude Le Boulicaut/Inpho

 

Ireland Under-20 goal-kicker Tom Daly is a major doubt for their crunch clash with New Zealand, in a game which will decide who goes through to the semi-finals of the Junior World Championship. Daly suffered a hand injury in the 46-3 win over Fiji on Sunday in Vannes and is rated doubtful for the showdown with the Baby Blacks.

The Carlow native has been in superb form in the centre as Ireland have won both their opening games, with the Lansdowne clubman kicking 25 points so far in the tournament.

Daly scored 14 points in the opening night 19-15 win over Australia and then added another three penalties and a conversion in the facile win over the Fijians.

Coach Mike Ruddock and his management team will assess the physio student over the coming days and while there is no shortage of other kickers in the squad, Daly has been a key member of the side so far.

He is the only main injury worry after fears abated about lock Seán McCarthy, who went off with a stinger on Sunday evening. The Currow native is bidding to follow in the path of his uncle Mick Galwey, with McCarthy the latest to come off the north Kerry village production line.

McCarthy, every bit as big a man as his famous uncle and who at 114kgs is the heaviest player in the Irish squad, is pragmatic about the meeting with the Baby Blacks on Thursday.

“It’s winner takes all now the next day and we’ll be looking forward to it over the week.”

The former Rockwell College student is now in University of Limerick and every now and again his mother Frances’ brother will offer a small bit of advice. “Mick will send you a text every now and then, but he lets me do my own thing. He is a good man for a few words of advice,” he explained.

McCarthy bids to continue the remarkable Currow tradition which has produced the Doyles, Moss Keane, Galwey and more recently JJ Hanrahan. “We are a small and proud parish near Castleisland and we like our rugby a lot.

“There is great talent on show here and it’s really an eye opener and a great experience to be playing against the likes of these fellas.We were a bit worried about Fiji, so we are happy just to get over the first two games and now we’ll have that bit of confidence as we face New Zealand. Hopefully now we can top the group,” added the Shannon RFC man.