Monthly Archives: August 2007

Player banned for punching O’Driscoll

Mikaera Tewhata has been banned by his club Bayonne after punching Brian O’Driscoll. The aggressive act has stirred media attention around the rugby world and has left Tewhata banned by the French rugby federation until the results of an investigation are known.

The New Zealanders commented on his actions

I want to offer a heartfelt apology. I’d like to see him face to face, shake hands and make peace, I hugely regret it. It’s not in my nature. It’s the first time I’ve punched someone. It was simply an unfortunate reflex action.

O’Driscoll injured in Bayonne

O’Driscoll punched in face
Ireland 42 – 6 Bayonne

Brian O’Driscoll has suffered a fractured sinus after being punched in the face, while the injury is not as bad as first thought the IRB have demanded the French rugby union investigate the incident. This was supposedly a friendly match between Ireland and French club Bayonne but instead resulted in five yellow cards and a very physical game.

I don’t mind physicality, but it was more than physical. There were some cheap shots, that’s the pity, but that’s the way they want to play it. We can’t control that, we can only play our game.

Eddie O’Sullivan

It is easy to spin a conspiracy theory on this story, after all it was Bayonne who suggested that Ireland should play a warm-up game with them just weeks before the world cup kicks off. Bayonne were a team with nothing to lose who were clearly in the mind set to rough up a few Irish players.

O’Driscoll will certainly miss Ireland’s first pool game against Namibia and possibly the second game against Georgia. While Ireland should win these games comfortably it is important match time that Brian will be missing out on.

We can only hope for a speedy recovery…

Full strenth Ireland to play Bayonne

Ireland v Bayonne
16th August (20:00 BST)

Ireland have put forward their strongest team to play French league side Bayonne. Only two first choice players, Shane Horgan and David Wallace will miss the match due to injuries.

So why has Eddie put out his strongest side to play a club rugby? According to E O’S,

You cannot replicate the same levels of intensity and physicality in training as you can in a match,
This will be a full-on match and will give the team the levels of contact we need.

There is no doubt that the French side will give it everything, this means there is a risk of injuries to key players, something Ireland cannot afford.

Look out for Ireland as they will be playing in blue jerseys as this game is not an International.

Ireland: G Dempsey; A Trimble, B O’Driscoll, capt, G D’Arcy, D Hickie; R O’Gara, P Stringer; M Horan, R Best, J Hayes, D O’Callaghan, P O’Connell, S Easterby, N Best, D Leamy.
Replacements: F Sheahan, B Young, M O’Kelly, A Quinlan, E Reddan, P Wallace, G Murphy.

Denis Hickie to retire after Rugby World Cup

Denis Hickie to retire after Rugby World Cup
Joint top all time Ireland try scorer Denis Hickie has announced that he will retire after this year’s Rugby World Cup. Ireland long standing speed man and winger will step down from both International and club rugby.

I have had a very enjoyable and fulfilling career as a professional rugby player. I entered the senior ranks at the dawn of the professional era and benefited from all the advances made in that time.

I have now decided that the best time to end my career is immediately after the upcoming World Cup.

Watch Denis in action with some great career moments below.

World Cup Squad – Including Horgan

Irish RugbyHorgan has been included in Eddie’s 30 man world cup squad announced this morning. Horgan twisted his knee warming up for yesterday’s Scotland match. Horgan was included in the squad even though he may miss early pool matches. This was an obvious decision as Horgan will be critical to Ireland’s success in key matches after the pool stages.

Trevor Hogan, Mick O’Driscoll, Keith Gleeson and Jamie Heaslip all missed out on forward places while Eddie went for Brian Carney in his winger dilemma over Tommy Bowe.

Forwards: N Best, R Best, S Best, S Easterby, S Ferris, J Flannery, J Hayes, M Horan, D Leamy, D O’Callaghan, P O’Connell, M O’Kelly, A Quinlan, F Sheahan, D Wallace, B Young.

Backs: I Boss, B Carney, G D’Arcy, G Dempsey, G Duffy, D Hickie, S Horgan, G Murphy, B O’Driscoll (cpt), R O’Gara, E Reddan, P Stringer, A Trimble, P Wallace.

Ireland out muscled at Murrayfield

While it was a game of two halves a dominant first half performance by the Scottish pack was enough to claim victory against an unfamiliar Irish side.

It was clear that the Scottish players have been putting in the hours at the gym and this showed early on as aggressive play from Scotland’s forwards was rewarded by an early try. The onslaught continued and it was Ireland who could do little to stop the thunderous rucks hovering over the try line.

For some reason this Irish team did not seem familiar to me, the six nations is a distant memory and with a few missing faces such as Horgan, Hickie, O’Gara and Horan it was hard to recognise the so-called contenders for the 2007 rugby world cup.

It is clear that Ireland lack depth in the squad, with the right combinations of players Ireland are certainly world class but there is a worry that a few injuries in pool stages of the tournament and Ireland may become a very ordinary team.

Please share your comments on today’s performance below!