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Sam Monaghan can get people out of their seats | Brian O'Driscoll

Ireland have had a difficult start to their Six Nation's campaign, however, the emergence of Sam ...

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

18:35 7 Apr 2022



Ireland have had a difficult start to their Six Nation's campaign, however, the emergence of Sam Monaghan is a real bright spark for Greg McWilliams, according to Brian O'Driscoll.

Monaghan featured in Fiona Hayes' Team of the Week on the latest edition of The Women's Six Nations Show and O'Driscoll has been impressed with the technique she has displayed throughout the tournament so far.

"She looks like a great find," O'Driscoll said.

"Obviously, it was the first time I had seen her play against Wales. Some of those offloads [she throws], can get people out of their seats.

"If Sonny Bill Williams threw some of those offloads people would be cutting [the clips] together and waxing lyrical about how brilliant he was."

Monaghan's reading of the game

The Wasps player has been a permanent fixture for McWilliams in the second row and O'Driscoll praised Monaghan for her rugby IQ.

"What I liked, and there was a couple of them as well in the France game, where she looked for the pass, it wasn't on and she tucked [the ball] and recycled possession," O'Driscoll said.

"It is the understanding of when to throw the pass. Anyone can be that loose offloader but again it is those turnovers, you could be disjointed from attack into defence in transition. You could put your team on the back foot.

"Understanding when the pass is on and when you can throw them [is key]. Monaghan had success in a couple of instances against Wales and against France.

"I enjoyed the tucked ones as well when she realises as the brain is working in overdrive. These are split second decisions where she says 'well that is no good, let's go with one more phase of possession and see what we can create thereafter.'

"In all likelihood, there is going to be a turnover of some sort. Or, I am going to make it difficult for the recipient to catch it or my support player is not in a position to be able to receive it.

"All of these small little details are happening in microseconds so I have liked what I have seen from her.

"I am looking forward to seeing more of Monaghan."

Ireland will look to get their opening win of the tournament against Italy. The game kicks off at 5 PM on Sunday at Musgrave Park in Cork.

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