Ludovic Mercier crazy reverse pass


Ben Tameifuna massive fend on huge prop


Ben Flower red card for vicious punches


WIN Rugby Speaker of the Year tickets!


Just how fast is Carlin Isles?


Richard Hibbard & Kalamafoni double hit


Tameifuna's huge hit on Michael Hooper


Benito Masilevu's huge side-steps


Samu Manoa Huge Hit on Billy Twelvetrees

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Leinster see off Brive in Pool Six

Leinster see off Brive in Pool Six

Leinster overcame a resolute Brive side 27-10 at the RDS in the pool six Heineken Cup meeting on the weekend, picking up a last-minute bonus point try in the process.

The home side were made to work hard for the win as the lack of game-time over the festive period, along with two Magners League games being postponed, perhaps showed.

Despite the rustiness though, they still managed to produce some great tries, most notably the bonus-point effort by Brian ODriscoll that featured a stunning flick offload by Shane Horgan.

Back from injury, Jonathan Sexton kicked a penalty and two conversions, the first coming after a penalty try. Isa Nacewa and Gordon DArcy scored the other two tries, with Nacewas in particular featuring some classy handling.

Brive were determined and show enough spirit to score twice through Retief Uys and Scott Spedding.

Leinster are now five points clear in their group and will meet second placed London Irish at Twickenham in the next round, a match that will determine the winner of the group.


Time: 03:54

Posted at 11:27 am | 71 comments

Viewing 71 comments

Kenny January 19, 2010 1:25 pm

Come on Leinster, BOD is the man once again!!!!!!

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Maximus January 19, 2010 2:11 pm

What a pass from Horgan!

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Scotsdale January 19, 2010 2:12 pm

That last try was sensational. Vitally important too.

Nacewa's also looked great.

Thanks for these highlights - missed the match.

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Crowley January 19, 2010 2:18 pm

Beautiful from Shaggy.

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Andy January 19, 2010 2:30 pm

Nice game. Love the Heineken cup. Shame the english teams are terrible this year. I'm a bit stuck as to who to support. Probably Ospreys or Leinster.

FYI that french prop has been banned for 70 weeks for gouging Ferris.

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mise January 19, 2010 2:40 pm

everything about that bonus point move made complete pin point sense. It was all to the exact spot: Horgan, Nascewa and Kearney were all in the line, so the almost interception of the pass to Kearney would have meant guaranteed try at the other end.
And I don't think I've seem a blind pop pass float so freely into the sky to perfection before.
Slo mo from behind really captures it.
Love the two angles - Horgan to 10 o clock, BOD to 2 O clock last move, clock ticks over to 80. Classic.

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mise January 19, 2010 2:44 pm

on the match in general:
Popham was excellent, and the Brive defense was top notch too.
But Leinster's handling was incredible - best hands I've seen from a NH team in a while.

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Mike January 19, 2010 2:48 pm

That last pass from Horgan reminds of the type of stuff that Campese and company used to pull off in that great Aussie team of the early 90s. Wonderful to watch.

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Anonymous January 19, 2010 3:12 pm

That last pass was fantastic, quite unexpected from Horgan though! Not one of my favourites players I have to say.
Concerning Attoub ban, it's insane! Specially knowing that he is claiming not goughing at all! Insane as well the fact that it is the same judge from the ERC that banned Dupuy and Tincu!

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Anonymous January 19, 2010 3:25 pm

Rest in peace Bill McLaren, greatest rugby commentator of all time.

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rodofle January 19, 2010 3:30 pm

awesome game from leinster. the irish look good this year again, the 6N will be tough! cant wait!

shame for Attoub, it's very harsh

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Anonymous January 19, 2010 3:46 pm

think its a shame for attoub that other players can do it so blatently an get much less, i hate gouging, but if theyre gonna give a player that sort of ban, which is absolutely justifiable, they should all get it, not just one. this should be the minimum.

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Anonymous January 19, 2010 3:47 pm

and what a pass, i dont thnk even my my mother would have dropped that

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Huh!! the 3rd January 19, 2010 5:41 pm

70 WEEKS!!!!

I misheard the guy on the radio, I thought it was 17, which including the 5 weeks already served amounted to 22 weeks. Fuck.

The French ain't gonna be happy that the IRB chose to get tough when they did. I still think Parisse's gouge v NZ was the worst of the year and he got 8.

Disappointing game in a way, Understandable though. Great inter play for Nacewa's try as already commented on. Feel though that Leinster forwards are ruining a lot of ball when they decide to pick and drive. They aren't as dynamic as they think. There were at least 2 phases where backs could've scored, although Reddan and Sexton could be at fault too, for not communicating.

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Kearney for tests January 19, 2010 6:33 pm

Mark Robson is just so entertaining as a commentator. I was laughing my head off when BOD scored there at the end.

And on the subject of commentators, requiescat in pace Bill McLaren.

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HM January 19, 2010 7:41 pm

RIP Bill.

They'll be crying in the streets of Hawick tonight.

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3/4 centre January 19, 2010 7:43 pm

Brilliant tries from the Leinster, but i found that it was not so easy for them against brive bis team...

Amazing pass from Horgan!

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Flooz January 19, 2010 8:05 pm

great tries from leinster. the last one was terrific :) !!
leinster will be in the last 4 for me.

fresh news: Attoub was suspended with 70 weeks!!!
Accusing on a photography, maybe traficated...
My only word:

SHAME, shame on erc who always do example with french players, on this little judge Blackett, on Burger, on Parisse, on Ferris (who didn't admit that didn't see if it was attoub)

U must punish eye-gouging but end the carreer of a player is an other thing. Max Guazzini reaction summarize everything: "Waterloo is finished"

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Gavin January 19, 2010 8:24 pm

Flooz, you are wrong - the first example was Shane Jennings (Irish) who got a huge ban for putting his hands NEAR a guy's eyes. I think that a player who sticks his fingers INSIDE another player's eye socket should be banned for life - they are SCUM. I think that Attoub was very stupid and he is lucky that he can play the game again. He risked making Ferris blind - and he would never have played again.

I agree that Burger and Parisse should have got longer bans too, but you must start somewhere, and Jennings was the first. Then Attoub and Dupuy were dirty and stupid and got caught.

The claim that the photograph was changed was disproved by police experts - but still the photographer was SPAT ON by fans and officials of Stade Francais - very classy guys, we really respect that.

This whole thing is French paranoia again. Here is the message French people - if you do not want a long ban, DO NOT STICK YOUR FINGER INTO ANOTHER PLAYER'S BRAIN.

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HM January 19, 2010 8:34 pm

How about shame on Attoub for trying to blind a fellow player, lying about it, trying to ruin the reputation of an innocent photographer and still not apologising for any of it.

Shame on Guazzini for being a complete bellend. Shame for ignoring all evidence and insisting that his spoilt brats could do no wrong. Shame for still having a chip on his shoulder about a battle 195 years ago. Shame for making Paris rugby about him and ridiculous sideshows not the sport itself.

Shame on anyone that sticks up for Attoub and Dupuy, and shame on any of their teammates that stand by them after this.

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Westerner January 19, 2010 8:56 pm

Great post Gavin, the French play hard rugby but in nature its on the edge with discipline, but when they are in the wrong they have to stand up and admit it, not just say that they are on the wrong end of the stick!! But I have to admit to being a big follower of the French club scene.

To the real point, what a pass by Horgan!! There is no doubt that he is on flying form at Leinster these days and in my mind hes putting his hand up for an Ireland spot, although many back in Ireland may disagree.

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Flooz January 19, 2010 9:48 pm

To Gavin and HM

Jennings was suspended 12 weeks
Attoub 70 weeks, for the same action.
Just don't compare what is not...
If he has been irish, english or welsh, the ban wouldn't have been so hard and we ALL know that

I don't excuse him, but when i see a 30 years old rugbyman in tears on tv (attoub) saying that his carrer is maybe over... and when i look that Tom Williams (bloodgate principal actor) is back on a pitch with a great smile (vs toulouse this we) i am worried with erc credibilty...

I'm ok with u on 2 things: Guazzini say bullshit, putting in evidence Waterloo war. Personnaly, i just don't care!
And i also agree with the french excess with paranoia.
But i can understand french. They see a wonderful weekend of rugby, with great victories, wasted by a completly excessive decision. 6 months was fair enough if he really eye-gouged (and i still not sure of that)

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Andy January 19, 2010 10:06 pm

Flooz, we don't all know that at all. There is no bias against the french that's a ridiculous thing to say.

The difference with bloodgate is that yes thousands of supporters could have been cheated out of one year of the heineken cup, yes a team could have lost alot of money but nobody was potentially blinded by a deliberate act. Ene serious eyegouging is worse than a hundred bloodgates. There was also serious punishments handed out to player and more importantly the club so i don't know what you're going on about.

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Anonymous January 19, 2010 10:10 pm

70 weeks for Attoub !!!?

Is Ferris dead ?
Seem that these erc judges completly lost sense of partiality..

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mise January 19, 2010 10:18 pm

U cannot compare Jennings' and Attoub's fouls. No way.

Completely different levels.
It's like comparing a slap to a close fisted punch.

^Gavin got this one spot on. I for one have been a bit worried that every little face contact was getting pinged, and Jennings was especially harsh. Casey (opposing captain) even complained about the behaviour of the 'victim' - his own teammate. But it was statement of intent by the authorities, and in big picture terms, fine. There will be a few cracked eggs for the omelette.

Now in this situation, the Attoub situation, its 100% correct to continue with the harsh punishments, and ramp them up.
He consistently messed around - like lying to the point of trying to ruin the career of a perfectly reputable photographer.

Yes its galling to see Quins players back, but then, in other areas, players are banned for even longer. Trevor Brennan cannot even coach ever again, for one mistake involving a fan. Silly mistake obviously, but zero forgivness. He can't even coach! Recreational drug users in the off season - 2 years!

Attoub _can_ come back - after putting his finger so far into Ferris' eye that it went to the _second_knuckle!

Burger and Parisse were the last 2 chancers to get away with it. Now we are seeing consistency.

Dupuy and Attoub were, thou different in their efforts, particularly bad examples of gouging. They have been punished accordingly, and punished as a clear signal to all out players - its not worth it, its no longer part of the game.

a few eggs a decent omelette, game goes on the better for it.

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cheyanqui January 19, 2010 10:26 pm

RD,

Off topic here, but merits a recognition.

Sorry to see Bill McLaren pass away.

For many of us, this was the voice in our dreams, in our sandlot games. The voice calling our name after scoring a "schintillating trrry".

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brett January 19, 2010 10:34 pm

I was going to read all the comments and leave my own regarding this game at the end but I have to take exception to Flooz suggesting Ferris should be ashamed of himself. Get a grip you idiot, that is a really dumb comment, Stephen Ferris has nothing to be ashamed about, much less so than the pathetic scumbags who gauge people.

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Anonymous January 19, 2010 10:40 pm

why are the commentators always sucking on o'driscoll? the second try all he did was catch and pass, the lock or flank did far more than him yet he gets most of the praise. Faggot commentators.

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brett January 19, 2010 10:44 pm

By the way,
Great work by Leinster to grab that bonus point, awesome pass by Shaggy, nice try by Darcy!

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clem January 19, 2010 11:08 pm

Attoub was the perfect player to make an exception : a mid-career french prop and especially not well-known (contrary to burger or parisse). Now that the injustice between the different sanctions is done, I hope that the same actions will lead to the same bans, whatever his nationality or his celebrity.

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Kearney for tests January 19, 2010 11:17 pm

I think mise is completely right here. Well, I think that Jennings definitely did gouge and got what he deserved, but what I mean is that he's right about all the examples that he used. Trevor Brennan banned for life, Dean Richards banned for 4 years or whatever, Tom Williams initially banned for two years I think for Bloodgate, and then today, Jerome Schuster(a Frenchman) getting two weeks for headbutting Leamy, even though headbutting has a minimum ban of 4 weeks. So to say there's some sort of anti-French conspiracy is just stupid. French people obviously make up a big part of European rugby. It's not as if only Irish and British and Italian people make all the decisions and the French are just left out.

And I don't know why all these people are defending this asshole who could have blinded Ferris. I mean if you did that on the street you'd be sent to prison, so why defend this prick? It was the same for Dupuy. Loads of French people rallied to Dupuy's side and went on about all this anti-French crap. I mean really, you make yourselves look so shameful by doing this.

In summary, don't stick your God damned fingers into people's eyes, or you'll get what you deserve.

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Nick W January 19, 2010 11:26 pm

On O'Driscoll's try, did the commentator really say "Brian O'Driscoll buzzes with godliness", or were my ears deceiving me? If so, that must be the most unique phrase I've heard applied to any athlete (or anyone, for that matter) and I will have to adopt it into my lexicon. If not, what the hell is in my afternoon tea to give me these auditory halucinations?

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Anonymous January 19, 2010 11:49 pm

Some people here apparently don't understand what is a metaphor (Guazzini about Waterloo).
Why is Guazzini angry? Maybe because he missed two key-players for the rest of the season (and the next too for Attoub) and compare to Burger and Parisse's bans it's a real joke. I mean it's normal to ban these players but a little more proportionnality is welcome.

And Guazzini's "ridiculous shows" makes the rugby popular, fills stadiums (not like in some other places) and turns his club into modern rugby era. If people are ashamed to lose against pink-jerseys, it's their problem. Yes he do what he wants with this club but remember that he makes it re-born by raising 3 divisions and win the championship after one year in the elite. 4 years only for that. I am biaised because i like Stade Franais but thanks to give Paris a great rugby team.

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Nicko January 20, 2010 12:01 am

I never really rated Horgan.... Probably cuz i haven't seen enough of him.. but that pass was amazing!

Why does he not get a game for ireland?

Nacewa is class too... He was always good at the blues, we miss him!

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Nicky07 January 20, 2010 12:07 am

Shane Horgan really did pull that out of the good ould day achive for O'Driscoll's try!

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mise January 20, 2010 12:20 am

Horgan has really come good of late. Previously, he was slipping back quite badly, possibly due to a combination of an average tackle and a lot of competition from other younger wingers. (He's just been named in the Irish squad for the 6N)

He's returned to form - still not sure about the tackling, but his all round game is better than previously.

However, as often is the case, all the backs look good as the pack is giving better service.

Re BOD being overhyped for this: that particular commentator does seem to go on about him a lot, but I suppose it is partly justified. He's getting a lot of those last minute tries, and the angle also made that last try.

He's also adapted to being a marked man: a lot of players come good, ppl notice them, and they can't step up past that. Good obvious e.g. in a v short timeframe is Roberts during the Lions tour.
With BOD, over his career, he's adapted, so now, when 2-3 players swarm toward him, they leave gaps and his passing (its timing and accuracy) often leads to scores.

e.g. of this in this clip: his v low and fast hands help create the Nascewa try.

But yea, that particular commentator does really go a bit OTT on it.

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Huh!! the 3rd January 20, 2010 1:08 am

Horgan is in, yeah, so is Mick O'Driscoll. Doesn't mean they'll be anywhere near match day squad.

Why has Horgan been out some of you ask, beacause he's not good enough any more, and he's nearly 32, and there are plenty of better wingers on form at the mo, Bowe, Trimble, J Murphy, Hurley, Earls. Well, maybe the last 3 are up and down but at least they they can play in more than 1 position (Shaggy had 1 good game at 12 v SA in '04, other than that, he's a right wing, and that would mean moving Bowe to 11 and dropping Earls).

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Mise January 20, 2010 1:31 am

Mick O Driscoll over Bob Casey is a disgrace. Irish rugby journalists are just afraid to bite the hands that feed them.
Its almost insulting to the cosiness of the whole thing to ask a direct question, like:
For the second row, why is the Munster sub in ahead of the London Irish Captain!?!

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MCB January 20, 2010 1:52 am

Great pass by Horgan. Leinster bit rusty. Popham had big game.

In response to Mise:

Bob Casey wouldnt make Ireland squad and neither will Mick O'Driscoll. Leo Cullen and Donncha Ryan are two most likely replacements for second row. Casey has been overlooked unfairly for years but is too old and slow at this stage altho still a decent player. Wont be in future plans. O'Driscoll shouldnt be in squad but has some international experience. Only gonna be trainin wit squad unless there's few second row injuries. Where is Ian Humpreys? Playing class

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No.7 January 20, 2010 2:54 am

:(

poor bill mclaren RIP

would be great if possible to have a tribute video of some sort.....

...like i said, if possible...

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simon says January 20, 2010 7:53 am

The last two tries made the match worth sitting through...got a bit dull there for a while, but that great counter-attack by Brive and then BOD's try - wonderful rugby there.

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simon says January 20, 2010 8:02 am

Also, Jeff Blackett is a turd.

(Not so sure if I completely agree that 70 weeks is merited from a single photo with no context. I've had a finger in my eye before, but it was a complete accident - in a ruck and a player was shoved forward, stuck his hands out to support himself, and didn't see me on the opposite side; the result was a forefinger on my eyeball, but completely forgivable...not right away, mind you. Anyways, the point is, Dupuy was obviously a conniving little shit sticking his digits in Ferris' peepers (his ban should've been longer, in my opinion), but how can anyone say - with certainty - that Attoub did that on purpose?

Anyways, Jeff Blackett is a giant turd. That's all.

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Anonymous January 20, 2010 8:52 am

NO 7 - there are already a couple of tributes to Bill posted on Youtube.

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Flooz January 20, 2010 9:00 am

simon says,

u exactly right
i don't condemn eye-gouging which is disgraceful
i condemn the fact to accuse someone with severity on a "so-so" photography.
i also blame the opacity of these commissions, where french are curriously absent..

to everyone who try to turn the debate in a "french are parano", please continue.it's ur favorite and easy sport

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Anonymous January 20, 2010 9:03 am

Re Attoub - just saw clip on BBC re photographer being intimidated and professionally undermined by Stadt officials. Think this, Attoubs behaviour after the event and the act itself all contributed to the size of the ban. Pretty disgusting really.

Whether others get the same amount of time is irrelevant in my view - this has to be stamped out.

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Anonymous January 20, 2010 9:11 am

The French are absent from the commissions? Makes a change from them just being absent from the wars.

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Anonymous January 20, 2010 9:16 am

RIP Bill McLaren, he represents better times in rugby, before the game went to shit.

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sebastian January 20, 2010 9:20 am

terrible commentator
but nice tries

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roscoe11 January 20, 2010 9:57 am

thank you to anonymous above, the game is going to shit. too many problems to list that have started to creep in. we are heading in the direction of league which is boring, one-dimensional thuggery. hopefully this years six nations can deliver something entertaining as last years was unbearable.

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Mike January 20, 2010 10:06 am

Flooz, France has the same representation as every other rugby nation, and is represented in the ERC and IRB the same as everyone else. If you are wondering why there were no French people on the commission who investigated the Attoub case, maybe it was a coincidence, or maybe it is for the same reason that French referees do not referee France's international games?

Here are the members of the comittee that confirmed Jennings' ban:
Christopher Quinlan, Chairman (England)
Rod McKenzie (Scotland)
Jean Noel Couraud (France)

Hey, there are no Irish guys? It's a CONSPIRACY!!

If you can show us a case in the next year where a non-French player sticks his finger right inside the eye of another player and there is a photograph that shows it, but there is a short ban (or no ban) - then maybe you will have a case. I hope that does not happen - any player who does this should get a long ban. But until it happens, please be quiet about the conspiracy theories.

I also find the sympathy for Attoub a total mystery - why do the Frecnh want to protect a man who disfraced French rugby and who could have blinded a fellow player?

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Flooz January 20, 2010 11:34 am

Mike,

u're exactly the type of person that i described just above. Deforming and interpretating every french fan terms in generalized paranoia :)

I hope eye-gouging will be eradicated of the game, but also it won't always with french guillotined for the example as it's often the case.

I can bet u that the next eye-gouging will be less punished and that's a shame...

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Mike January 20, 2010 11:47 am

Flooz,

Just one question - do you agree that there are different levels of gouging? For example:

Level 1 - holding your fingers in the area of the eye

Level 2 - pushing your fingers into the eye but not going inside the eye

Level 3 - sticking a finger right inside the eye socket

If you agree that there are different levels, then you get different punishments. So Jennings got 12 weeks for level 1, Dupuy got 24 weeks for level 1 plus level 2, and Attoub got 70 weeks for level 3. I think this makes sense. Looking back at Schalk Burger, that was probably a level 2, so he should have got 24 weeks.

I think we both agree that these punishments must be maintained in future.

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Jake January 20, 2010 11:59 am

Agree with anon and roscoe, I've been watching the Bill McLaren tributes on Youtube, so many great characters and classic matches.

The modern game is a mix of the one dimensionalism of Rugby League, the gym monkey steroid users of NFL and the sportsmanship of football (soccer).

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Mise January 20, 2010 12:29 pm

guys - there is a McClaren link on the top right hand side of the page, linking back to a tribute from a while back that RD featured. its been there a while!

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Anonymous January 20, 2010 6:07 pm

BOD = OVERRATED.

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Anonymous January 20, 2010 6:25 pm

BOD = Underrated

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Anonymous January 20, 2010 7:26 pm

BOD= Greatest player of the modern era...FACT

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Anonymous January 20, 2010 7:59 pm

BOD is incredible

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Anonymous January 20, 2010 8:00 pm

how can you be the best cente (and one of the best players) in the world and be overrated?

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Mike (BO'Ds mother) January 20, 2010 8:22 pm

how can you be the best cente (and one of the best players) in the world and be overrated?

Because,

a) in spite of his astonishing try-scoring record for an international team that - for all its recent success - has never been in the top tier of international rugby and

b) even though he has been considered to be one of the top players in the world over 10 years in which the role of the centre has changed dramatically and

c) in spite of overcoming several serious injuries and coming back to the top and

d) although he toured with the B&I Lions 3 times, twice standing out as probably their outstanding player and

e) ignoring the fact that he has won numerous international player of the year awards, and was deemed player of the decade by Rugby World and

f) aside from winning the Heineken Cup and dragging Ireland to their first Grand Slam in 60 years -

he's just not very good, is he?

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Cat Stevens January 20, 2010 9:32 pm

Mrs. O'Driscoll, I don't think you can say, "dragging Ireland to their first Grand Slam in 60 years" - what, the other 14 on the pitch didn't want to go, so BOD won the games all on his own?

I think Brian O'Driscoll is a phenomenal player (his tries are usually classy as can be), but I don't have the hard-on for him that you seem to. Instead of saying "he's the greatest player in world rugby", why not just leave it at, "he's incredible at what he does".

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Huh!! the 3rd January 20, 2010 9:44 pm

RE Mick O'Driscoll ahead of Bob Casey.

Someone mentioned the fact that O'Driscoll is only a sub for Munster and is still ahead of Casey. By that extension, Devin Toner isn't even playing for Leinster at the minute, likewise McFadden, yet they are in, how Dempsey gets the nod on the Leinster bench over him is a mystery.

What Kidney seems to do is include players like Mick O'Driscoll and Ian Dowling and so on who are good for training with the team. No one is suggesting for a minute that they'll make the 6N 22.

Bob Casey isn't an 80min player anymore and you can't have a player at test level capable of only 65-70min, when there are fitter players in the 2nd row available.

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mise January 20, 2010 10:27 pm

I suppose the Casey thing is starting to becoming historical, and good point on Kidney having the Ireland A players to primarily beef up the training (Huh!! the Third.)

However, Casey does have something else, something that Ireland are often a bit short of: size

The front 5 tend to be a small front 5, and this can sometimes really work against Ireland. For the last few games, it hasn't, but sometimes it really does.

Neither of the 2 current locks are big. And I still think Casey would be better than either the Leinster locks or the Munster subs.

However, at 32, he ain't the player for the long haul.

Without doubt, however, he was completely overlooked disgracefully for many years.

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Third Centre January 20, 2010 11:30 pm

Eh Cat Steven's did you see BOD against England in 2009 ?

Dragged them to a grandslam....with maybe a little help from ferris and heaslip

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Yusuf Islam January 20, 2010 11:56 pm

Yes, because the forwards weren't spot-on in the line out and scrums, no one else scored tries, and O'Gara didn't get 51 points including the drop goal that secured the win over Wales.

I'm sorry to have been mistaken.

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Anonymous January 21, 2010 1:09 am

Back to that vid tho, Shane Horgans pass was absolute, sublime perfection.

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te-tank January 21, 2010 4:07 am

Haven't seen Ica Nacewa since he left th super 14 few years back.
Seems like hes doing pretty well over there.

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Mike January 21, 2010 1:22 pm

Nacewa is very popular with the Leinster fans, much like Doug Howlett is loved by Munster fans as much for his attitude as his talent. Actually, all the NZers are held in the highest regard over here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8hzfrTPo6E

View Video

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Third Centre January 22, 2010 12:35 pm

No worries Yusuf, you're only human.

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Huh!! the 3rd January 25, 2010 4:12 pm

Completely agree with you mise on the lack of power in Ire's scrum. For years the props have been getting the blame but O'Connell and O'Callaghan should bear responsibility too, they are too samey. A Casey or Cullen at 5 behind the 3 would be more powerful. I like the Ulster lock Touhy though. With his form he could force his way into the picture and he provides bulk power and speed in the Ferris mould.

I think a bit of creativity is needed in Ire scrum. Look on Fri when POC was in the bin Quinlain (a bulkier and stronger player) went into 2nd row alongside Donnacha Ryan (a bigger player than DOC) and the Munster scrum won 2 against the head.

Firstly, I think Tom Court has to start v Italy at 1 (Healy is a great player but Court has been best prop this season), then on attacking scrums, lets say Ferris and O'Connell in 2nd row (DOC has experience at 6). Not going to happen, but Kidney and Smal thinking outside the box could benefit Ire.

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