Scottish heckles got fitting response from Jacob Stockdale
Of all the players to go after, perhaps targeting the Ulster winger was not the wisest.
The scary thing about Jacob Stockdale is that he can still get better. He still has areas he can improve in and tighten up.
The Ulster winger has now scored 13 tries in 16 Test appearances and must be itching to get another start against Italy, in Rome. At Stadio Olimpico, two years ago, Craig Gilroy scored a hat-trick as a second-half sub.
Stockdale was only 20 when his Ulster teammate ran amok at the Stadio Olimpico in February 2017 but was already in the thick of it with his province. He made his senior Ireland debut four months later, scored against the USA and has yet to look back.
The form and growing confidence of Stockdale was discussed Baz & Andrew's House of Rugby [from 53:00 below] as well as a possible positional switch and how he handled some Scottish heckles.
Stockdale made a costly error in defence in the 32-20 loss to England, when he spilled a ball that allowed Jonny May to score a try, and a couple of the Scottish players reminded of him of it early on.
Gregor Townsend's side are an abrasive lot, with several characters that have no fear of voicing their opinions. Stockdale was more than ready to dish it back, as we saw (below) when he chirped up to first Tommy Seymour then Greig Laidlaw.
"Didn't Stockdale do a bit of trash-talking in the match?" asked David O'Doherty on the show. "A little bit of that. I saw him doing it. I wouldn't have had him down as a trash-talker."
"I've seen him do it quite a bit," Andrew Trimble replied.
O'Doherty mused if Ireland would consider trying Stockdale at fullback in any of the remaining Guinness Six Nations games. Trimble and Barry Murphy were not having it:
TRIMBLE: "Jacob has played 15 a few times for Ulster and has done okay. He never tore it up, though, but he tears it up on the wing. Don't change it up if it is working so well."
MURPHY: "Yeah, I wouldn't even be talking to him, if I was the coach. I'd just be avoiding him!"
The former Ireland stars are right. Leave Stockdale where he is and leave him do what he does. It is working out a treat so far.
WATCH THAT EPISODE HERE: