WE CANNOT PLAY TADHG RUGBY
Molony: If we allow Beirne to dominate then we will be in real trouble
THE last time Tadhg Beirne played at the RDS he helped bring down the club where he learned his trade.
That was last year’s Pro14 semi-final, with Beirne tearing it up as the Scarlets romped to victory over Leinster.
The Kildare man is moving to Munster at the end of the season but, while he has spent some time in Ireland camp, it will be the summer before he wears green.
Omitted for the Six Nations, Beirne can use tomorrow’s Ballsbridge return to show Joe Schmidt what he’s missing – but former colleague Ross Molony is desperate to spoil the 26-year-old’s latest homecoming.
Like Leinster, the Scarlets have had their squad rifled for Six Nations duty and Beirne, a regular in the second row, has been used in the back row.
Molony said: “He’s obviously been put into a pretty powerful back row there with (James) Davies, who is also brilliant over the ball, but probably over the weekend that’s somewhere we’re looking to target.
“We have to beat them at the breakdown. They probably got the upper hand on us there when we played them in previous games so that’s going to be a real focus for us this week.”
Beirne’s ability to win turnovers is a quality Molony really admires.
“He’s able to get over it, get a low body height, which is really impressive,” said the 23-year-old lock.
“He’s been brilliant. He has really had a couple of great seasons over there.
“He was on 20 turnovers before the Benetton game (last weekend), and I saw him get at least three.
“So he’s really putting a marker down and, like last year, I’m sure he’s looking to come over and make his mark at the RDS.
“Obviously he’s moving to Munster next year but I’m sure he’s focusing on his job with Scarlets, and the big season for them ahead.”
Aside from the importance of the points on offer between the two top teams in the championship’s Conference B, Molony knows how crucial these chances are for fringe players with the Test men away.
He said: “It’s for the players who may not have got a look in earlier in the season to put their hand up.
“The international players are going to come back eventually and it’s just about giving the coaches that tough decision where you’ve performed over that block – and you’re not just going to hand that jersey back over easily.”
CRASH & BEIRNE Tadhg ran riot when Scarlets came to the RDS for the semi-final clash last season
ROSS IS READY TO RUMBLE Molony intends to make the most of his chance to shine