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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 February 2008, 22:57 GMT
Murphy gives O'Sullivan dilemma
Geordan Murphy after Saturday's win
Murphy with his man-of-the-match award after Saturday's game
Geordan Murphy hopes he has done enough to stay in Ireland's side to face Wales on 8 March after taking full advantage of a late recall against Scotland.

The full-back, initially axed from the 22 before an injury to Girvan Dempsey, responded by starring in a 34-13 win.

"I hope I've given (coach) Eddie (O'Sullivan) a selection dilemma," said Murphy. "That was the aim.

"You have to lay down a marker when you get the chance. I've given myself a shot and now it's up to Eddie."

Murphy, who played on the wing against France in the last round of Six Nations matches, was dropped last Tuesday and returned to his club Leicester to prepare for a Guinness Premiership match against Sale on Saturday.

I don't think I deserved man-of-the-match...but it makes for a good story

Geordan Murphy
But he was summoned back to Dublin when Dempsey suffered a hip injury, and when the Leinster man failed a fitness test on Friday, he was thrust back into the spotlight.

"It's been a rollercoaster week. I was nervous before the match and there was a bit of pressure there from other sources," said the 29-year-old.

"I never thought it was the end of my international career. I've been in that position before.

"It's not the first time I've been left out and the thing was always to remain positive.

"Being dropped like that does dent your confidence but you get yourself back after a day or so.

"I wasn't entirely happy with my display in France but I set myself high standards. However, I was a little bit surprised to be left out.

606: DEBATE
GrandpaSimpson
"I don't think I deserved man-of-the-match against Scotland either, but it makes for a good story. They gave it to the fairytale."

Murphy admits full-back, where he is usually employed by Leicester, is "where I want to be". "I see everything unfolding in front of me while on the wing you try to keep your wits," he explained.

"On the wing you finish tries whereas I look at full-back as more of a creative role."

O'Sullivan must now decide whether to retain him there against Wales in a fortnight, or recall Dempsey, who will be fit to resume if called upon.

"Girvan has been outstanding for us and has been unfairly maligned. His strike rate is extraordinary," said O'Sullivan, who professed himself "delighted" at Murphy's display.

"It does knock a player's confidence when he is dropped from the team but you want to see how he responds and he did that very well," he added.

This was another step forward and we need to keep heading in the right direction

Eddie O'Sullivan
"That's what you want from a player. Geordan's preference is to play at full-back but he's more than capable of operating on the wing."

O'Sullivan described his team's overall display as a "very good performance".

"We scored five tries and you would take that in a Six Nations weekend," he said.

"Scotland played well in patches and we had to defend as much as attack but the better team won, with some good scores to boot.

"Winning builds momentum and the key for us now is to continue that. This was another step forward for us and we need to keep heading in the right direction."

Captain Brian O'Driscoll left the pitch in the 73rd minute and sat on the bench with his right calf strapped up, but later said there was no recurrence of the problem that restricted his training during the week.



SEE ALSO
Ireland v Scot match stats
31 Jan 08 |  Rugby Union
Ireland 34-13 Scotland
23 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union


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