By Micil Glennon
Ireland coach Declan Kidney says the performances of the team’s more inexperienced players against Fiji today has given him food for thought ahead of their crucial showdown with Argentina next Saturday.
Kidney saw his selection hammer a poor Fiji side 53-0, running in eight tries along the way.
Ulster winger Craig Gilroy scored a hat-trick, while Fergus McFadden (2), Sean Cronin, Darren Cave and Luke Marshall also touched down.
Asked how those showings would determine next week’s selection, Kidney told RTÉ Sport: “They’ve certainly put their hands up anyway.
"I think that will have to be recognised in the way that we take a look at the videos and whether that affects selection or not, we’ll just have to wait and see. We won’t pre-empt anything”
"Fair play to him he took his chances when they came his way" - Kidney on Gilroy
Gilroy, 21, won the the-man-of-the-match award, but Kidney didn’t want to get over-excited by his three-try performance.
“He seemed to enjoy it,” said Kidney. “I suppose Fergus [McFadden] will remind him that he was in the scrum for one of his tries, no, it’s just a good team effort, and the wingers, that’s their job to finish off. Fair play to him he took his chances when they came his way.”
Ireland face the Pumas in Dublin next Saturday knowing that they need to win to secure a ranking place for next month’s World Cup draw.
“Especially after last night’s result between Samoa and Wales. That just clears it – we know that we have to get a win next week to stay in that top-eight position. It will be all to play for. We’d good support here tonight and please God we’ll get that again next Saturday ‘cos we’re going to need it against a very tough Argentinean side,” added Kidney.
Outhalf Jonathan Sexton, who was due to start on the bench, pulled up before kick-off and was replaced by Keith Earls.
Kidney said: “He picked up a bit of a groin strain kicking so we felt it wasn’t prudent for him to be in there.”