TOM AHERN’S RECENT performances in the Munster back row were praised on today’s Rugby Weekly Extra, the podcast for subscribers to The 42

Yet Bernard Jackman, the former Ireland hooker, said there are question marks over the Munster pack following their “very poor” defence of the lineout maul against Glasgow last Friday night, where the province leaked five pushover tries.  


“We were getting frustrated under Johann van Graan that he (Ahern) wasn’t getting picked. There were times he was fit he didn’t get picked, and he had some injuries, but it’s really nice to see that talent that we saw at U20s levels and in brief glimpses for Munster coming out now, and there’s two big games he’s had back-to-back, and at six,” Jackman said. 

“We knew he was a good athlete. I wasn’t sure he had the ability to play six. But I think he has and he has the ability to play six at a very high level. With Peter O’Mahony out I can see why they went for that because of the lineout option, but just his speed, his athleticism, his ability to kind of have big moments.”  

Jackman continued: “Against Leinster he was unbelievably abrasive, and wasn’t taking a backward step, which is good. And then against Glasgow just the way the game was, it was more open and you got to see him a little bit more doing the flashier stuff, which he is obviously capable of doing. The only question is – and I’m not saying the lineout maul D is down to him, but when Peter is fit and you’re picking a team you’re going to say O’Mahony gives us more proven lineout defensive option, plus he’s an absolute nuisance in the maul.”  

“And I’m not blaming Tom Ahern for this but as a collective, that pack, they’re going to put doubts until they fix that. The rest of their game was all brilliant but that’s anarea tey were very, very poor in and soft in actually. Tactically poor, but also mentally soft. It’s not good viewing. Six mauls did a lot of damage, five led to tries.”          

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2023-12-04T17:13:35Z dg43tfdfdgfd