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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Brian O'Driscoll try in the corner sets up Leinster win over Munster

Brian O'Driscoll scored a lovely try in the corner to help Leinster to a 30-21 victory over arch rivals Munster at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday. Since the game there has been talk of injury concerns, and also speculation about a switch to Super Rugby. 

The Heineken Cup champions get their defence of the title underway this coming weekend as they host Exeter Chiefs at the RDS. O'Driscoll is reportedly set to play through the pain after rolling his ankle in the second half against Munster.

There has been talk of 33-year-old O'Driscoll being interested in a stint in Super Rugby, fuelled by the fact that his former coach, Michael Cheika, is now in charge of the Waratahs in Sydney.

"What excites me is the challenge of playing against the calibre of player you are playing week-in, week-out down there. That is an exciting prospect," O'Driscoll told the Daily Telegraph. "But whether all the pieces fit, I don't know. At this moment in time, probably not but 'Cheiks' has my number, so if he wants to give me a call, he knows how to get me.

"Just before the World Cup I thought about the possibility of last year maybe taking a little bit of downtime and playing a year of Super Rugby.

"The three best teams in the world make up the Super 15. You look at the individuals, the calibre of sides, the quality of Super Rugby and the intensity of it - obviously it is a hugely high standard.

"I am contracted only to June, so whether I play on for another year after that, the body will be able to tell me later on this year," he added.

He needed just a fraction of space to get in at the corner against Munster, following a lovely midfield break by Fergus McFadden, who shot through an attempted Ronan O'Gara tackle with ease.

- Will O'Driscoll be a definate candidate for going on the 2013 Lions tour?
- Should he seriously consider going to Super Rugby, or will he be pushing it age-wise by then?

Let us know your opinion in the comments below!

Posted at 7:25 am | 24 comments

Rodrigo Roncero puts Ronan O'Gara on his backside in 2008

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Don't Stop Believing - the Brian O'Driscoll collection

Posted in Great Tries

Viewing 24 comments

BarryT October 10, 2012 10:18 am

I'd be quite disappointed if he went south, Leinster have stood by him through all his injury problems and made him the player he is now, he should consider giving something back to the province/country when his body gives in (not anytime soon I hope, but lets be realistic), I think he'd fizzle out in the SH in a not so great at the moment waratahs team, where he should finish on a high up here, contesting a HC or grand slam etc.

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BarryT October 10, 2012 10:21 am

Also, seriously ROG?? haha!

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Pretzel October 10, 2012 10:23 am

Umm... I'm sort of in the middle on this one... I wasn't actually aware that BOD was 33, I thought he was older... perhaps its due to what has seemed like long stints of time off due to injuries that makes me think he has been around longer, or the fact he was so young when he started playing for Ireland.. So is 33 to old for any rugby? Not really, imo... As long as you can deliver the goods and do what is expected of you, i.e. at least do the basics then I don't think there is any age. BOD continues, (from what I've heard) to do the basics, AND add a little bit extra on top, although from what I have seen of him recently, a lot of it seems to be a little bit late during games... But then that is a team fault, not a solo fault...

So onto the Lions tour, I don't think ANYONE should have any sort of definite feelings about anything, they should all be putting their all in to try and get a place, but should BOD DEFINITELY be ruled out? Hell no.. There aren't an awful lot of guys that have stepped up to fill that shirt for Ireland, Wales has Jamie Roberts when he's fit, Scotland? not sure, England, again not sure... so yeh, I'd say BOD has a chance...

The Super Rugby thing... well, it might be a bit ambitious, but who can blame him for trying, I don't know whether he is fit enough, but again, I can't see anything wrong with him trying. Even if he goes as a Super-sub...

And finally, onto this try... Well, it was a brilliant effort by BOD to finish the try, and by all means it wasn't an easy finish, however I find there are greater efforts of play, especially the initial break by the Leinster 12!

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The Green Mafia October 10, 2012 11:03 am

I don't know if I agree with you on this one, pretzel. A center is not a prop or a lock, where you can play until much later in life (roncero, thorn, etc). He has visibly lost more than a yard of pace in the last couple of years. You normally don't notice that because drico has enough experience to compensate that missing pace with superb positioning and running lines (plus a heart as big as a house).

The question for me is that I even if he has the skill to make the move south, I don't know if he can cope with the pace and the physical demands of super rugby, undeniably faster and harder (where else would you see Western Province/Stormers' flank problem, for example?). As it stands, O'driscol will probably travel with the lions, but he won't ever be first choice. The welsh duo is outstanding, with roberts and davies (who is not just a big guy, he can set up tries and pass like mad) and even scott williams. From england he has Tuilagui to compete with, and I don't think he'll have to worry with scotish competition. Drico will travell as backup, hopefully acompained by darren cave. Super Rugby just seems a step to far so late in his career. It isn't just a month long tour, is't a gruelling and demanding competition.

As for the sellout talk from barryT, pardon the expression but just take your head out your arse. The man has devoted 15 years to Leinster and I think 12 to Ireland, he is a stalwart of courage, comitment and love for the jersey. Leinster stood by him and in turn he gave them everything in a very, very long and successfull career. Even if I think he won't cope with Super Rugby, he more than deserves the oportunity to try new experiences in rugby while he is still able to. And besides, why can't he go to the southern hemisfere and then come back a few years later to get involved in coaching, etc. in Leinster? Professionally and as a person (with a huge devotion to his province), he is an example for most sportsmen, so cut him some slack, will you?

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Pretzel October 10, 2012 4:51 pm

Firstly: Jeeeeez, I have my head in the sand on that one, can't beleive I forgot about Tuilagi! Yeh, definitely going to be a combination of English and Welsh centres. BOD is going to have his work cut out to get some game time, but I think he will go as a reserve (as you say).

I'm not sure if you sort of agreed and disagreed with me on the other points I agree with you that he has lost some pace, and this has certainly altered his style of play, he used to be a lot lighter, and was more about weaving through tackles, now he has adopted a little bit of a "bash through" attitude, but he still finds those gaps. Anyway, my point was sort of the same as yours, I don't think his fitness will hold up playing Super Rugby, BUT, you have to remember, these guys are hardly going to offer him a contract (meaning they'll pay him lots of money) if they're only getting a lemon... So if THEY feel he can do something in the game for them, and HE feels like he can, then I say why not, hence my "As long as they can deliver the goods" bit, it was more in reference with "as long as they can do what a 13 should do".. I mean if BOD is getting tries every now and again, but can't fulfil his role as a 13, then sadly it needs to be bye bye!

I just hope for his sake, that he calls time one day and doesn't make things drag on for the sake of dragging on, especially if he starts to fail and providing the basics...Probably a bit of life left in the old dog though.

Oh and fyi, just wikipedia'd, says BOD has been with Leinster and Ireland since 1999. So 13 years for both.

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Guy October 10, 2012 12:10 pm

Not only the finish is good, the whole try was well worked!

As for Brian: I guess he himself is still filled with ambition although I do not understand what he means with '' downtime ..... playing Super rugby''.

I don't know if, with all the injuries he has had, he is completely up to the task. But as I said: he himself seems to think so. If he has the chance to do it, the best of luck to him!

But to be honest: to me Japan seems a better option. The level and intensity is a bit lower, the money is good. And he will be able to bring a lot of good things to a country that is developing it's rugby in the right direction. To me that's also a means of 'giving back to the rugby community'.

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Conman October 10, 2012 12:46 pm

BarryT your point is ridiculous, BOD has been one of (if not THE) most loyal servants of Leinster and Irish rugby in the professional era. On several occasions he turned down big money offers from France and elsewhere to stay with his home province, played through pain on many occasions and never let his side down, giving his all. His loyalty, service and dedication are unquestionable.

He has talked on a few occasions in the past about the desire to play Super Rugby at some point in his career, so the fact he is still in Ireland just emphasises the point. At this stage he owes Leinster and Ireland nothing and I, for one, would be excited to see him play in the competition. Even at 33, I still think he has it within him to play there. He is in the best conditioning of his life so I don't think age is an issue. I actually think the more open, running and attacking style of Super 15 would suit him more than NH rugby!! Not sure what all this 'injury' talk is about, that's going back a bit now!

As for the Lions, I still see him as the best 13 available, notwithstanding the Davies challenge. As for Tuilagi, you must be joking! He'd be 4th behind Scott Williams, if not 5th behind Earls...

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BarryT October 10, 2012 2:18 pm

Yeah i've been thinkin about it a bit more and your probably right, I'd like to see him finish his career contesting for a spot in the Leinster team, if he does go i hope he comes back!

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Facepalm October 10, 2012 3:56 pm

Keith Earls? Can't agree with you on that one. The 13 pecking order goes 1) Davies 2) Williams 3) Tuilagi 4) BoD with Roberts in at 12. I would be very surprised indeed to see Kieth Earls challenging any of those for the jersey. He seems to pop up a lot on Rugby Dump for all the wrong reasons. I certainly wouldn't feel safe having him defending my midfield. The welsh centres are the obvious choice to fill the role but I have the feeling it will be Roberts and BoD again.

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paulm October 10, 2012 1:06 pm

no harm in saying you're interested in playing with the best. Keeps your employers on their toes and strengthens contract negotiations. Anyway, part of the Irish sportspersons tax break (where they can claim back several years tax on earnings) is to finish your career on the auld green sod. Not sure even the almighty BOD could survive a season in the centre at Super 15 level and then make a return of another year to irish rugby at the young age of 35. But hey, he's come back from all sorts before, maybe he's getting tougher with age.

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tomodriscoll October 10, 2012 1:14 pm

Should he go on the Lions trip? He should be captain!! He is still the best 13 in Europe, and would be ranked right up there in the Southern Hemisphere too. As for his age, that is irrelevant....it's not like the Lions are planning long term. If he is fit and playing well, he should go. His leadership speaks for itself, and every time he plays, the team he is playing for are better.....much better. For the full package, it has to be O'Driscoll.

Don't think he will go south though...why would he? Leinster are on top of the Euro charts at the moment, and will be there or thereabouts for the next few seasons....why risk a possible 4 out of 5, 5 out of 6, maybe even 6 out of 7 in the Heineken Cup...

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Jimmynee October 10, 2012 1:16 pm

The fact that BOD has left it so late in his career to even consider a move abroad pays testament to his commitment to club and country as well as the Irish pay model of retaining their best players.

At 33 you could easily argue he's left it too late to make the impact he once could have made on the Super 15. However, Aussie Rugby Union could do with some high profile signings to raise it's profile in the face of diminishing crowds so it would be a good signing for the Waratahs. Also, which player wouldn't want to play in the best league in the world and spend some time in the sun as well? BOD should take the opportunity and then follow it up with a year in Japan before coming back to Ireland to develop his skills as a coach.

As for the Lions tour, unless they're injured I think Gatland will go with Roberts & BOD - they were a brilliant pairing in South Africa and Gatland's plenty of experience of coaching both. Davies and Tuilagi will provide pretty decent cover though, but let's wait and see what happens in the Autumns internationals, and more importantly, the six nations.

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WelshOsprey October 10, 2012 1:44 pm

Great finish, Munster are well past their best

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Reality October 10, 2012 4:39 pm

Nice try I must say. The card looked a bit harsh for Varley, but the work for the try was very nice. The pace that the players came onto the ball at after it was recycled was exceptional.

Is BOD good enough to go on the Lions tour? I say 'why not?'. I don't think he's the best centre in the world or anything, but he's in decent form, and when I think about the competition, I'd probably take him. Tuilagi is a bit of a one-trick pony (and having a Samoan playing for the Lions kind of devalues it in my opinion), I don't even know who the Scottish guy is, Roberts is an inside centre, and Jonathon Davies is a bit meh. Having said that, I really doubt that Gatland will pick him; I foresee a Welsh-heavy team.

Finally, would they ever just put O'Gara out to pasture? I mean the way it works at Leinster is that the 2nd choice does a decent job but then when the number 1 comes back the team play much better, i.e. Madigan and Sexton. But Keately was playing great rugby, kicking his kicks, carrying the ball well, so why get rid of all that and bring back the human turnstile that is O'Gara? And I didn't see the match, but I heard he missed a kick from right in front of the posts, so it's not like he can depended on to do everything else well.

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Shergar October 10, 2012 5:41 pm

Haha human turnstile. A bit harsh, but he seriously needs to get the boot. O'Connell is not far behind him, he doesn't put the fear of God into anyone these days...

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The Claw October 10, 2012 6:51 pm

Shades of BOD's try for Ireland against Australia in the 2003 WC >

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OJgw2Z3k0I

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Kettlerugby October 11, 2012 1:16 am

Classic missed tackle from Ronan...

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stroudos October 11, 2012 10:34 am

It was a beauty wasn't it!

On first view I thought that's a nice hard run by McFadden, who I didn't think was really known for his power and I wondered how he'd managed to carve through the defence with such a straight line. Then the penny dropped and I remembered who they were playing against!


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mise October 11, 2012 2:12 am

Re Down South: Would be nice to see in some ways (in fact, it would be great to see more players going down south for a while to sharpen up), and while it might have made sense in the past, the tax situation in Ireland might really mitigate against it. BOD would loose an awful lot of money if he didn't finish his playing career in Ireland (and Rugby players don't get soccer players wages)

I hate talking about the Lions so far out (it feels a bit teenagery) but I can see him travelling, and possibly being called up from reserve to full team if needed)

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Canadian content October 11, 2012 2:33 am

BOD owes nothing to Irish rugby, he's spilled more than his share of blood for his country over the years. If he wants to explore an opportunity at this point in his career he's entitled to it.

As for a Lions tour, take him for his experience alone, whether he plays in the tests or not, he has so much to pass on. And not many can match his class.

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rugby08 October 11, 2012 1:00 pm

Lions Tour? -
NO WAY. He shouldn't even be playing for Ireland as far as i'm concerned. This summer showed that if Ireland want to progress they need to try another guy out there, his lack of pace was seriously exposed and his usual solid defence as well.

Super Rugby? -
He could probably do a job at Melbourne, Western Force and the newly promoted Kings. I doubt that the high profile NZ or SA franchises would be interested though, they don't need him. He should have gone for it after the Lions tour in 09 i reckon, but saying that even then i think he had lost too much pace.

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Pretzel October 11, 2012 3:51 pm

I agree and disagree with you there. I totally agree that he shouldn't be playing for Ireland, at least not as a starting 13, however the reason I also totally disagree with that is that I have yet to see any evidence of anyone doing anywhere near what O'Driscoll does in the green 13 shirt....

...I will be more comfortable passing judgement on him when I see the 6N clips next year and see if he shines.. I just personally feel that although he is more quiet these days (throughout the majority of the match, with the ocassional flair at one point or the other) there are no other Irish centres who can play up to his level. Earls I believe is one who has worn the 13 shirt... I know it's a bit silly, but I feel that sticking Peter Stringer in at 13 would be a better option than Earls... at least Stringer was a little more dynamic........in a tiny...very light....sort of way...

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Ronan October 14, 2012 11:14 pm

the speedbump ogara strikes again....... ha!

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marty October 16, 2012 3:56 pm

You're right Pretzel, I also think BOD should and should not play at international level, for the same reasons, but he means so much for his country and Declan Kidney cannot pass on him for any selected unless he's injuried or decides to retires. I think there's a couple players we haven't seen much wearing the green jersey that could take BOD and D'Arcy's place, players such as : Darren Cave, Luke Fitzgerald and Eoin O'Malley. But, still, only O'Driscoll can do what he does and again you have to put him in there no matter what, just because he can break any line at any given moment

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