Conor Murray's reaction to his man of the match presentation should worry everyone
Conor Murray came to Dublin town tonight to win a game of rugby.
He didn't care how it was done. He only cared that it was done.
Murray had a 10/10 when we beat New Zealand in Chicago and he was damn well close to getting it again this evening. He harried, probed, darted, dinked, tackled, foraged and slung like his life depended on it.
As his teammates floundered, he kept his cool and kept talking. You could hear him, through the Reflink, urging on his forwards and barking at his backs. He knew the test had been put to his team but he was confident they could get it done.
Ireland's championship challenge was not ending in Dublin on February 25. He wasn't having it.
His sniping try, off an Ireland surge, was typical of a player that backs himself to score big tries. He has seven Ireland tries in the past 18 months against some of the best teams in world rugby. He also pinged over a crucial penalty in that Chicago triumph.
When the game was won and four more championship points in the bag. Murray came off with three minutes to play and got the biggest ovation of the night. As he left the fray, his name was hollered out as man of the match.
After the game, everyone wanted a piece of him but Murray had already moved on.
He was hauled in by RTE's Claire McNamara for a post-match interview and had a medal dangled around his neck.
No sooner had the medal rested on his chest than it was whipped off.
Enough of that... !
Murray talked about missed chances and areas to improve for the next game before praising Ireland's steel.
"We stuck in the fight," he declared, "and to beat France 19-9 at home is great.
"To miss a few chances is frustrating but a win on the cards and we're still on the hunt for this championship."
We are still on the hunt.
He posed for a picture with the medal back on but it was gone again as soon as the flashes stopped. And still, people wanted to congratulate him. You couldn't blame them but Murray's eyes were fixed.
STILL ON THE HUNT.