The replacement out-half received the ball inside the Ireland in-goal area with the clock in the red. However, rather than attempt to launch an attack in the hope of engineering the converted try that would have enabled Joe Schmidt’s side to grab a last-gasp draw, he decided to kick the ball into touch to leave Ireland with a losing bonus point that could yet prove crucial in the qualification race for the quarter-finals.
“I knew we had the bonus-point secured and there wasn’t too much on for us, so at the time I thought the best thing would be to kick it out,” said Carbery. “And yes, I think that was the right call. I didn’t want to do anything silly as well: maybe they could have got the ball back and taken the bonus point away from us.”
Carbery’s World Cup has yet to ignite. He almost missed the tournament with the ankle ligament injury suffered in August’s victory over Italy in Dublin but was backed by boss Joe Schmidt to shake off that blow while out in Japan. He came off the bench in the loss to host nation Japan but then aggravated his ankle issue and was a late withdrawal from last Thursday’s bonus-point win over Russia.
He now insists he is ready to strike back to top form, admitting it is time to pay back Ireland’s coaches for bringing him to the World Cup in the first place. “Hopefully I’m 100 per cent now, it has been quite a frustrating year with injuries,” said Carbery.
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“But I’m fully back now and feel back to myself as I was. So that’s a huge confidence boost for me and I suppose I can just get back out there and do what I’ve been doing.
“I suppose with the timing of the injury just before we left for Japan, and the nature of it as well, it was always going to be a bit of a frustration. But to be honest I was lucky enough even to be considered and that I did enough to get on the plane.
“The coaches showed a lot of faith in me and I’m very grateful for it. I want to repay that faith now. I want to go out and do the job and show them that they weren’t wrong; that’s definitely in the back of my mind.”
– Press Association
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