Over enthusiasm on rejoining London Irish got the better of GeraghtyBy Alan Manicom
November 14, 2012
The long delay Shane Geraghty endured before making his first start for London Irish since rejoining the club this summer, was down to his over enthusiasm, says director of rugby Brian Smith.
Exiles’ versatile back was so keen to do well following his summer move from Brive that he spent hours practising with world renowned kicking coach Dave Alred.
But Geraghty ended up suffering a groin strain that restricted him to five appearances off the bench for the first two-and-a-half months of the season.
Smith said: “In his enthusiasm he did a lot of work in the summer on his goal-kicking and he worked extensively with Dave Alred.
"The kicking volume was just a little too much. He had some groin problems and they grumbled away. We had to be patient.
“A 21-year-old Shane Geraghty probably would have been impatient and demanding to play and we would have succumbed. But he is 26 now and understands his body.
“We’ve decided to take the medicine up front at the beginning of the season and let him get it right.”
Geraghty marked his first start in his second spell at the club by scoring their bonus-point fourth try in Sunday’s 34-28 home win over Sale Sharks in the LV= Cup.
And a delighted Smith said: “We will have the combination of Tomas O’Leary, Ian Humphreys and Shane Geraghty – three very good footballers and very experienced – along with a lot of very good power runners at 13 that those guys can feed.
"We have done the right thing and should reap the benefits of that going forward.”
Geraghty, who is hoping to help chalk up a second pool win in the LV= Cup when Irish visit Leicester Tigers on Sunday (3pm kick-off), said: “I have been struggling with my groin.
“There was not the opportunity to rest earlier in the season because Humphs was out injured.
"It was only when he got fit that I could have a rest. Hopefully those issues are behind me now.
“I was really happy to get a start against Sale and delighted to play the full 80 minutes.
“It was nice to come back and nice to score,” added Geraghty, who intercepted a loose pass by Sale replacement hooker Tom Cruse before running 40 metres to score.
He continued: “Line speed was in my head and I thought he might tip it on without looking.
“My legs were a little bit tired and I hoped it was a hooker chasing me, but it was a winger so I had to put the foot down.”
Geraghty believes the signs are already there that he can strike up a good partnership with Humphreys.
He added: “It was really good at times and really difficult too because I have not played that much in the last four months.
“I think the more games I play the easier it will get to be in the right position.
“I think we created a lot, against Sale but there were also times when it was hands on heads and thinking hold onto the extra pass, don’t go into touch, don’t force it.
"A couple of passes of mine went astray.
"That is normal for a team that want to play a good style of rugby.
"We just have to find a balance, which we did in the second half.
“As a 10 it is good to have someone who can help out in the centre with the kicking duties or take it in so that as a team you can keep things ticking over.”
Geraghty, who quit Irish for Northampton Saints in 2009, said: “When I left I was one of the younger guys in the squad, but there is a different role for me to play now.”