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James Lowe – “Conor Murray Gives Me Nightmares”

James Lowe put in an excellent performance yesterday as he helped Leinster to a nail-biting 16-15 victory over bitter rivals Munster in the Guinness PRO14 semi-final. 

A beautiful offload to Jack Conan gave Leinster a lead they never relinquished and to top it all off, Lowe was crowned man-of-the-match at the end of the game.

When Leinster announced their team with a back-three of Lowe, Jordan Larmour and Joey Carbery, it was clear that Munster would aim to put them under significant pressure in the air.

That’s how it played out as Conor Murray orchestrated an aerial bombardment which yielded mixed results. For Lowe, he admits that the most important thing is to win those little battles early on in the game to give yourself confidence for the remainder of the match.

“I think if the ball comes your way it’s awesome but early on in the game, mentally, you need to win your first contact, your first breakdown, you don’t want to sit and wait to see what happens,” Lowe told the gathered media after yesterday’s game.

“You need to be as dominant as you can, fortunately, those first few plays came off and mentally you’re like ‘yeah, this is it, I’m going to keep doing this’.”

Murray is one of the best box-kicking scrum-halves in the world and Lowe admits that it’s a huge test playing against him but he is thankful to his teammates for allowing him to receive uncontested ball throughout the game.

“Man, like, Conor Murray gives me nightmares. There’s a lot of things that actually happen like all I do is catch the ball. The team actually gives me a free run. An uncontested ball in the air is huge and every team tries to put wingers under pressure.

“You talk about compounding errors, if you drop one of those, that nine will be licking his lips, he’s going to go back to you. So it was a credit to the team to give me uncontested ball.”

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email [email protected] or on Twitter