David Wallace and Rob Kearney were full of praise for Dan Sheehan after the Leinster hooker’s superb performance against Munster.
Leinster claimed a hard-fought victory against Munster at Thomond Park, as two tries from Sheehan and Scott Penny in the space of five minutes proved to be the difference between the sides.
Penny picked up the official man of the match award, although Sheehan was surely in the running as the big man played the full 80 minutes of an intense encounter.
Wallace and Kearney were speaking after the game on Viaplay Sports, and the former Munster man underlined just how impressive it was for Sheehan to score directly from a tap and go from five metres out.
David Wallace and Rob Kearney on Dan Sheehan.
“Dan Sheehan I’d say as well. Even just the way he took his try, he’s a guy that has attributes that very few other players do,” Wallace said.
“He’s such a big guy but he carried that ball so low. There were two front rows going in and hitting him there with fairly good shots, but he just won the shoulder battle, got underneath them and got over that try line.
“Very rarely do you see from a free kick a guy taking on a ball and getting over straight away. It’s quite rare with today’s defences. I just thought he was very good. Very good around the park too.”
Kearney focused on Sheehan’s fitness levels and consistency, which are both highly impressive for a member of the front row.
“For a front row player as well, to go for 80 minutes at the pace that he does, it’s pretty phenomenal. It really is,” Kearney added.
“He’s done it a lot this season. He always goes past the 70-minute mark and his performance doesn’t dip at all throughout the game.”
Penny, Sheehan, Coombes, Crowley, Osborne…@KearneyRob and @wa22y discuss which players impressed them from tonight’s game! 🗣️#URC | #MUNvLEI pic.twitter.com/hYkC3sUz2z
— Viaplay Sports UK (@ViaplaySportsUK) December 26, 2022
The Leinster star has enjoyed a remarkable year.
Sheehan made his debut for Ireland in November of last year, but it has been in 2022 where he has really established himself as a crucial player for both his province and country.
Rónan Kelleher’s injury problems have afforded Sheehan plenty of opportunities in the last 12 months, and he has taken those superbly, having even been nominated for the World Rugby breakthrough player of the year award.
Kelleher has returned to fitness in recent weeks, and the battle for the number two jersey at both Leinster and Ireland looks set to be a fascinating one.
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