Ireland suffered a disheartening loss to Wales in on Friday night, leaving their Six Nations dreams in tatters for another year.
Joe Schmidt’s side went down 22-9 to the Welsh in an error-strewn performance in the Principality Stadium – and while he will feel that his side left it behind in Cardiff, conceding three tries without reply is indicative of how Wales were fully deserving of their win.
While there were very few Irish players to emerge from the loss with much credit, the second half display of Kieran Marmion did catch the eye of many. With Conor Murray visibly struggling with injury in the first half, Marmion replaced the Munster scrum-half six minutes into the second half and in the remaining half an hour or so, he gave a performance that was full of energy and earned a few new fans in the process:
@Tissot_Sport Kieran Marmion FINALLY being brought on!. And the showing how good he is!.
— Hal90 (@halligansinead) March 10, 2017
@PopulistwatchIr true, but Murray is usually a great positive. Marmion remains the only player to walk away without a black mark, though.
— James Field Corbett (@pathdependency) March 10, 2017
— Jackie Mc (@Jackiem23) March 10, 2017
On a positive note, I thought Marmion had a brilliant match. He really stepped up when Murray got injured. #WALvIRE
— Amy Clarkin (@AmyClarkin) March 10, 2017
If we want a bright side. Both Marmion and Ringrose were fantastic #WALvIRE
— Orla (@orlabaz) March 10, 2017
Important to note that Marmion great when he came on after staggeringly bizarre decision to let Murray on. Crazy & irresponsible. #WALvIRE
— Len Dowling (@LenDowlingCork) March 10, 2017
— Liam (@liamster91) March 10, 2017
— Eugene Leach (@EugeneLeach) March 10, 2017
— Paul Russell (@paulrusty) March 10, 2017
The 25-year-old Connacht player was making his twelfth appearance in an Irish shirt, and has done his chances of appearing against England next week no harm at all.