Jordi Murphy’s derby joy with Ulster

A try, topping the tackle count with 17 and winning two turnovers earned Jordi Murphy the ‘man-of-the-match’ award as Ulster ended their away-day woe in Irish derbies with a 32-19 win over Connacht in Galway.
Ulster's Jordi Murphy. Pic by Pacemaker.Ulster's Jordi Murphy. Pic by Pacemaker.
Ulster's Jordi Murphy. Pic by Pacemaker.

Ulster’s last win away from Kingspan Stadium in an Irish derby came at the Sportsground in December 2015 - but 23 points in the second half, including Murphy’s try, secured victory on Sunday.

“We had talked about it during the week that we hadn’t won an away derby since 2015, we definitely came here with a chip on our shoulder,” said the Ireland flanker. “I’m just glad we came here and backed it up and were able to put in a performance like that.

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“Credit to everyone that worked really hard this week it is always tough to put it together during Christmas is a special win.

“You know going to the Sportsground if you get a good day it is one in a 100 so we knew we were going to have to play the conditions and I thought we did really well.

“We managed the game really well and just took our points when we could, we didn’t panic, especially in that first half when conceding those two tries and they had us under the cosh in the scrums, I thought we regrouped very well and used the wind advantage in the second half.”

Concussion in rugby was again highlighted with Tom Wood’s clear-out on Josh van der Flier in the Heineken Champions Cup game with Leinster.

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“You want to be clearing out rucks in an aggressive manner, but there’s also that safety element to it,” said Murphy. “If you can do it technically right, you should be OK, but there are obviously a lot of mitigating circumstances when you’re running into each other at quick pace.

“We’re never going to get 100 per cent clarity on that, but if we can stick as close to good technique as possible.

“To be honest, if they removed rucks from rugby, I wouldn’t be watching it and I wouldn’t be playing it.

“It wouldn’t be a very competitive game, so I hope it never gets to that.

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“If we can keep hammering on good technique and by doing that everyone can be that little bit safer, we’ll be in a good place.”


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