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Hard Work Paying Off For ‘Grateful’ Conway

Hard Work Paying Off For ‘Grateful’ Conway

After scoring his first international try against South Africa on Saturday, Ireland winger Andrew Conway said he is keen to embrace the opportunities that are currently coming his way at Test level.

Winning cap number four, the 26-year-old Dubliner made his first Aviva Stadium start for Ireland, with his 24th minute try helping the hosts to carve out a 14-0 interval lead over the Springboks.

Despite being eager to look ahead to the next GUINNESS Series outing against Fiji, Andrew Conway was admittedly delighted with the way the series opener against South Africa had gone.

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“I’m grateful to where I am at the moment. Playing in a game like this. I’m not going to get too high with this, because I know that next week, or the week after, whenever I play next hopefully, it’s another game. It’s another 80 minutes,” said Conway, who made his debut against England back in March.

“One of the things I’ve learned is not to get too uppity with the big wins, and not to get too low with a loss or an injury, or a lack of form. Because as long as you’re working hard, and you’re sticking to your processes, it will come back. I’m delighted with how the game went for us as a team. There’s a few work-ons for us and for me, but we’ll be building again next week.”

With 46 starts since September 2015, Conway has become an integral part of the Munster back-three in recent seasons. He attributes his impressive form to the holistic approach he has brought to his game, as well as the work done by Felix Jones and the province’s outgoing defence coach Jacques Nienaber on the training ground.

“Probably two or three years ago there was a shift in mindset. I always trained hard, and I always did my weights, but I’m probably looking at the holistic side of it. Where I broke down my game, It wasn’t that I wasn’t committed to it before, but I just added a few different pieces over the last few years.

“I just train as hard as I can, and as smart as I can on a weekly basis. Touching up with a few extra passing sessions, doing high ball stuff with Felix, kicking with Felix. Doing stuff with Jacques, just being consistent with them. One of the big things is just being diligent and disciplined, and stick those things out.

“Always, always do the bits we planned, and the plans we put in place. They’re important to stick to them, and not go off task as the season goes on. That’s probably one of the ones that’s helped me a lot.”

While Saturday’s final scoreline of 38-3 might suggest that Ireland were in firm control from start and finish, South Africa did cause some problems for Joe Schmidt’s men during the opening hour.

The aerial contests were a particularly intriguing aspect of the first half, and Conway felt South Africa’s tactics under the high ball made life difficult for the Irish players. However, despite coming under pressure from the Springboks in this area, the former Ireland Under-20 star believes they should persist with trying to win clean possession in the air.

“As far as I could tell, we were going up to win it, but the South African guys were just coming in and getting hands to it. It’s pretty effective, because they get two guys throwing hands up. It’s tough, and it’s a tactic that a lot of team are using now.

“I think we’ll continue to stay with trying to win clean, because we work on that so much, and we get really good takes sometimes. It will be one of those ones I have to go back and see, and see what the fix to it is. Because you want to be taking that. I’d say there’s very few high ball clean takes today. You want to be taking them, so I’ll have to have a look and see,” he added.