Opportunity knocks for talented Deasy
Scott Deasy hopes to take the first major step in proving he can be a successor to his hero, Ronan O’Gara, in the British & Irish Cup final against Cross Keys at Musgrave Park this evening (5.30pm). The circle has turned fully for Deasy who played out-half in school but mainly full back, centre and wing through his time in University College Cork and Munster as an Academy, Development and now full-time contracted player.
He’s back to where he wants to be; at 23 he has learned to be patient and figures he can mount a challenge to ultimately make his name as a quality representative number 10.
Having played across the backline for different teams, Deasy believes he is well prepared for the challenges ahead, although he’s now, more than ever, determined to try to make a go at playing 10, his favoured position from the time he put on a rugby jersey at Presentation Brothers College Cork.
“I’ve played a lot of positions across the backline; in school it was at out-half but when I came out of school I couldn’t get my place at out-half in UCC. However, I think it is probably the best position for me going forward; I really enjoy the responsibility, to be able to have a direct influence on the game.
“The majority of my caps for Munster (33) were at full-back early on and I am happy to fill in anywhere, but as I move forward, hopefully I can challenge for a place as an out-half.”
His biggest influence is O’Gara and he explained: “Rog is probably the main reason I play rugby, I’m part of the generation when I was 10 or 12, Munster were competing against Northampton, I fell in love with the buzz that created.
“The whole family are into it now and I suppose the fact that Rog went to Pres as well, he was a huge role model; then to actually get into the Munster squad, to train alongside him and against him is huge for me.”
Deasy wants to be as good, and he figures that’s the reason he is immersed in the professional game, saying: “You have to believe in yourself, I have to believe that ultimately I can be the number one out-half or there wouldn’t be much point in staying involved.
“I wouldn’t hang around if I felt that wasn’t the case; I’m too competitive and I also have too much respect for the team. I’d rather give it 100%.
“I would like to think I have a very strong work ethic, that I’m diligent in terms of preparation, that I have quite a good temperament for professional sport and react well to pressure, I’d like to think I’m mentally strong and that I have the skills required. Of course, I’d have to show that consistently, to be able to step up to the plate week in and week out; that’s the major challenge.”
As O’Gara continues to break scoring records, Deasy aspires to following his example. Although he missed a kick to win the semi-final against Leinster which would have avoided Munster having to go to extra-time, he’s easy about the imposition.
“My goal licking has improved, other aspects of my kicking have improved; although I missed one at the end against Leinster, if the winning of a game came down to a last-minute kick, I’d fancy my chances.”
He believes it might come down to having to do that against Cross Keys this evening. He knows they are “a massive side with very high skill sets behind the scrum”. “It will be a huge test, it could come down to the wire but hopefully we’ll get through it.”
© This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Friday, April 27, 2012