5 things we learned

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - SPORTS - By Liam Heag­ney

Bundee can be a suc­cess

With his fine de­but over, the ex­cit­ing Bundee Aki will hope his Ire­land project player Test ca­reer can be a long-term suc­cess. There is no guar­an­tee given the mixed for­tunes of his seven over­seas pre­de­ces­sors – Strauss 8 starts, Ah You 0 (only capped as sub), Di­ack 2, Payne 20, White 4, Stander 16 and Roux 3.

O’Brien has been missed

Show-and-go Sean O’Brien hit a job mile­stone, earn­ing his 50th Ire­land cap, but the de­served hon­our for one of the coun­try’s most dy­namic for­wards served to high­light how in­jury-af­fected his in­ter­na­tional ca­reer had been. The 30-year-old was first capped eight years ago against Fiji at the RDS.

Her­ring is a qual­ity op­tion

A penny for the thoughts of de­moted hooker Sean Cronin. Rob Her­ring, the South African who qual­i­fied for Ire­land through grand­parent­age, hadn’t got a look-in since his bizarre fleet­ing de­but three and a half years ago in Tu­cuman, but he bridged that enor­mous gap with his try-scor­ing ef­fort off the bench.

Refs show­ing eye for de­tail

New Zealand ref­eree Ben O’Ke­effe pre­vi­ously worked as an eye spe­cial­ist in a Welling­ton hos­pi­tal and his vi­sion was gen­er­ally spot on polic­ing a match that pro­duced 21 penal­ties and re­quired hard and fast rul­ings at the scrum and in the col­li­sions. His com­mand­ing style was easy on the eye.

Gen­ders not so di­vided

The IRFU’s gov­er­nance of the women’s game has taken a re­cent bash­ing but a match pro­gramme ad­vert yes­ter­day high­lighted how yo­gurt mak­ers Glenisk is play­ing its part in pro­mo­tion. The cover of its new trad­ing card col­lec­tors’ al­bum fea­tures five women in among 11 of Joe Sch­midt’s men.

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