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JWC Will Stand To Me Says Goggin

29th July 2014 By Munster Rugby

As he begins his first year with the Greencore Munster Academy, Young Munster centre Dan Goggin discusses his recent experience at the 2014 Junior World Championship in New Zealand.

As he begins his first year with the Greencore Munster Academy, Young Munster centre Dan Goggin discusses his recent experience at the 2014 Junior World Championship in New Zealand.

Having represented Munster at U18 Schools, U19 and U20s, Goggin went on to feature in all of Ireland’s 2014 6 Nations games, and did likewise in last month’s Junior World Championship (JWC). Reaching the semi-final and finishing fourth overall represented Ireland’s best ever performance at the premier U20 competition, something which Goggin is justifiably very proud of.

“It was great to be part of a campaign which saw all the lads put in a massive collective effort. From a personal of view, despite losing 19-13, I felt I performed best in the opening game against France, however, from a team perspective our best display was against Wales. That was the perfect game that we were looking for all year, the game where everything clicked and the game where we were very clinical in the opposition 22. It was nice to do it for Mike Ruddock (Ireland U20s Head Coach), especially after not performing last time out against the Welsh in the 6 Nations. You learn a lot from losing and it’s up to you to bring that to the next game. In February the Welsh dominated up front and our pack were determined the same wouldn’t happen again in the World Cup.

“Between the well documented intensity of a World Cup and the quick turnaround of games, recovery was massively important on tour, especially in the first two days post-match. Pool sessions, mobility sessions and ice baths, coupled with plenty time off between matches made sure we were sufficiently recovered for the next game.

“Again from my own perspective, it was good that I had started our final three games in this year’s 6 Nations, preparing me somewhat for the pace physicality that would come our way in New Zealand. In terms of the intensity I think we held our own in the pool games, but things went up another level in the knock out stages, certainly against England who are a massive outfit.

“Facing one of your 6 Nations opponents in the semi-final of a World Cup can have its pros and cons. You know that team very well, but on the flip side they know you, your strengths and your weaknesses. The English had their homework done on us, identified our potential weaknesses and were ruthless in exploiting them.”

Following Ireland’s 42-15 defeat to England in the semi-final, was it tough for Dan and the lads get themselves up for the third place play-off against the tournament hosts?

“Naturally there was massive disappointment following the loss, but we knew we still had a job to do. At the end of the day guys realised they had the opportunity to play New Zealand at home and in Eden Park, where the World Cup final was played, so it wasn’t long before our game focus switched back on.

“We came flying out of the traps in that game, doing very well in the first half. However New Zealand just had more in the tank come the second, creating space that allowed their runners onto the ball, and that was to be the difference between the teams on the night. Despite losing (45-23) we knew we had given our all.
So what was it like to play in the rugby cauldron of New Zealand?

“Even away from the field, everywhere you went was all rugby. The Kiwis are a really laid back people, but when it comes to rugby they are a different animal altogether, they eat drink and sleep the sport. Some might find that added pressure to their campaign, but for me, to be immersed in that rugby culture just added to the enjoyment of my experience."

After a four week rest period post World Cup, the former St Munchin's player began his full time rugby apprenticeship with the Greencore Munster Academy last week, and feels his game time on the world stage sets him up nicely for what lies ahead.

“For all the training you do, nothing is quite like match experience and to have played in a campaign that culminated in a Junior World Championship semi-final will stand to me massively. You learn from wins, losses and from those around you, and I will bring what I’ve learnt with me into the Academy.

“Receiving the news from Peter Malone (Elite Player Development Manager) that I was to be kept on was a great feeling ahead of the World Cup, and with the tournament complete, now begins a new challenge of kicking on to the next level in Munster, and with one week done I’m absolutely loving it.”

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