Molony: If we al­low Beirne to dom­i­nate then we will be in real trou­ble

Irish Daily Mirror - - SPORT - BY MICHAEL SCULLY

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

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