...Felipe Contepomi in flying form against Edinburgh in October...
Leinster'sFelipe Contepomi was quick to dish out the plaudits to Gordon D'Arcyafter the Ireland centre turned in a man of the match display inSaturday's Magners League victory over the Ospreys.
Leinstercut the gap between themselves and Ulster, at the top of the table, tojust two points as they ran six sizzling tries past the understrengthWelsh side. The Donnybrook demolition saw Rob Kearney and Brian O'Driscoll both bag a brace of tries, but it was D'Arcy who caught the eye the most.
The Wexford man began 2007 in the sort of form that would leave mostrugby supporters salivating - running some excellent angles, taking theball on at every opportunity, marking himself out as a defensivecolossus and having a hand in three of the hosts' tries.
The province's Argentinian out-half Contepomi, who was making hisreturn from the knee injury he sustained in November, had a verysatisfactory comeback game, slotting over six kicks out of six for a13-point haul.
But rekindling his 10-12 partnership with D'Arcy proved a delighted for the Pumas star.
He said: "I think Gordon's a great, great player - a pleasure to play with. He's one of those players who never gives up and always plays with a smile on his face.
"If you're a spectator you enjoy watching him and if you're a player,you enjoy playing with him because he makes things easier for myself asan out-half.
"I don't like to say if he's the best but he's definitely up there.He's different because he's played in other positions before. He's beenbrought from full-back to wing and now, as number 12, he's learnt hisrole. He's adding things to our game," Contepomi added.
"Now you have someone capable of playing at inside centre who is capableof striking the ball, being a playmaker or finishing a move. It's verydifficult to find someone with all those skills in that position."
Leinster entertain Edinburgh in the Heineken Cup next weekend,and Michael Cheika's Pool 2 leaders will be all out to gain revenge onthe Scots for October's 25-24 reversal at Murrayfield.
Cheika admitted: "Perhaps there is a bit of pay back from our defeat atEdinburgh in Round 2. We were very disappointed when we left there andthe body language of the players told the whole story - we letourselves down and we should have won that match and finished the job.
The team played well and there were a few outstanding performancesagainst the Ospreys. Gordon was exceptional in defence and attack andwe are lucky to have him.
Overall it's good for Gordon and Brian O'Driscoll to be runningthemselves into some good form before the Heineken Cup matches."
With the 2007 RBS 6 Nations championship less than a month away, Ireland fans would certainly agree.