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Geraghty a 'special talent'

Fly-half's performance against Munster his best for Saints so far, coach says

Last updated: 10th October 2009   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Geraghty a 'special talent'

Mallinder: good performances

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Northampton's director of rugby Jim Mallinder said Shane Geraghty's performance in their 31-27 Heineken Cup win against Munster was that of "a special talent".

The fly-half scored 21 of the Saints' points, Geraghty scoring one try and making two others in a superb display in front of England manager Martin Johnson.

Geraghty's own try was something special - the opposing defence caught unawares late in the first half as he tapped and ran a penalty that Munster expected him to kick to goal.

"We have seen Shane play at under-20 level for England and throughout the age groups and he is a special talent," Mallinder said.

"What he has done today is to back up a number of very good performances for us this season and that is probably his best performance for us tonight.

"He made a lot of good options in attack, and he can see where space is whether it his passing or his running game, he's a real threat to defenders."

But Mallinder declined to be drawn on whether Geraghty should be promoted from the England Saxons squad to the elite squad.

"That's a decision for Martin Johnson to make," he said.

"Martin has got to decide whether he wants to play Shane and if so where. I have no hesitation in playing him in either position, at number 10 or 12."

Desire

Mallinder also singled out young lock Courtney Lawes, who held his own against Munster's British & Irish Lions second row pairing of Paul O'Connell and Donncha O'Callaghan.

"He's certainly got the size, he's certainly got the athletic ability and he's certainly got the desire," he added.

"As for whether he is ready for England we will probably know after this next series of European games. But he certainly didn't let himself down against two outstanding and experienced locks for Munster."

Meanwhile, Munster captain O'Connell admitted that his side's defensive lapses had probably cost them a win in the Pool One opener.

"It wasn't a fabulous performance but it was an improvement on Leinster last week. But we let in too many soft scores," O'Connell said.

"There were a few defensive lapses. Against a team of the quality of Northampton you can't give them those opportunities.

"They are good at taking their opportunities. Shane Geraghty is playing well at the moment and they are very good at what they do.

"They have a strong ball-carrying game and when we presented them with opportunities they took them and took them very well."

Forthcoming European Rugby Champions Cup Fixtures
TimeFixture
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday 17th October
European Rugby Champions Cup
19:45Harlequins vs Castres
Saturday 18th October
13:00Sale vs Munster
15:15Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne
19:45Leicester vs Ulster
15:15Glasgow vs Bath
17:15Racing Metro 92 vs Northampton
Sunday 19th October
17:15Leinster vs Wasps
15:15Toulon vs Scarlets
13:00Toulouse vs Montpellier
13:00Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso
Friday 24th October
19:45Munster vs Saracens
Saturday 25th October
13:00Ulster vs Toulon
19:45Scarlets vs Leicester
15:15Bath vs Toulouse
17:15Montpellier vs Glasgow
17:15Northampton vs Ospreys
Sunday 26th October
13:00Clermont Auvergne vs Sale
15:00Castres vs Leinster
17:15Wasps vs Harlequins
17:15Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92
Saturday 6th December
TBCMunster vs Clermont Auvergne
TBCSale vs Saracens
TBCCastres vs Wasps
TBCHarlequins vs Leinster
TBCUlster vs Scarlets

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