Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Brian O'Driscoll and Craig Gilroy big tackles against Wales

Brian O'Driscoll is fast becoming the bookies favourite to captain the Lions on their tour to Australia following Ireland's 30-22 victory over Wales on Saturday. Young winger Craig Gilroy, who also looks to be a star, could be joining him down under.

There was somewhat of a subplot to the Ireland win as O’Driscoll put in yet another Man of the Match performance, impressing fans and experts alike, and raising serious suggestions that he may now be a real contender for the captaincy role on the British & Irish Lions tour of Australia.

The 34-year-old set up a Simon Zebo try with a perfectly timed pass, and scored one of his own. He was typically bullish throughout, typified by the hit we see briefly below, where he took on big Ian Evans as Wales launched a full on assault on the tryline.

Sam Warburton and Chris Robshaw are the other two players in contention for Lions skipper honours, but if fit and playing well, O'Driscoll's experience would surely count in his favour.

"The big thing is trying to be fit and getting as close to 100 per cent fit as you possibly can when you take to the pitch," he said post match.

"I felt good against Wales, my ankles both felt good, as did all the other bumps and bruises. If you can start games that way you have every chance of putting in a half decent performance."

Craig Gilroy, who has had a good start to Test rugby, made a great hit on Alex Cuthbert just a minute after O'Driscoll's on Evans. Snubbing out the Wales overlap being the key element in it.

"It was a very physical game, real Six Nations stuff which you expect when you come to Cardiff.

"It was body-on-the-line stuff and there was a couple of times when guys made key decisions, stopping the ball when they had two or three men overlaps and that's what you have to do to win tough games," O'Driscoll added.

Who would you pick as captain for the Lions this year?

Posted by Rugbydump at 12:28 pm | View Comments (14)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play, Six Nations 2013

Viewing 14 comments

Guest February 06, 2013 8:20 pm

Solids hits but Request for Halfpenny's tackle on Sean O Brien - best tackle of the match

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John February 06, 2013 9:13 pm

Halfpenny's 'Tackle' on O'Brien was more of a chop tackle that anything and it was as much of O'Brien falling over him as him tackling O'B.

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hedderball February 06, 2013 10:16 pm

Heard Denis Hickie on the radio the other night talking about how getting hit by BOD was always much more painful than being tackled by a big fella like John Hayes. The key is the power he generates by accelerating into the ball carrier over 3 yards and then timing the hit to perfection.

On the captaincy subject - I'm thinking that a decent outside bet for the Lions skipper might be Rory Best. Played a blinder on Saturday and virtually a guaranteed start for the Test XV plus has captained country and is recognised as one of the main leaders in the Irish squad.

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Canadian content February 07, 2013 11:52 pm

I agree Best is a great player but a long shot for captain, let him focus on his game and lead the team thru example of the field.

BOD or Robshaw would be a my pick, Warburton is just not up to it. I'd have BOD at 13 and Manu at 12

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Tc February 06, 2013 10:38 pm

The odriscoll tackle is terrible. Hits hard, but goes way too high and ends up going backwards. The second tackle however is ace

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ruckinmaul February 07, 2013 8:59 am

IMO, he hits high to stop from the big fella offloading the ball. Massive hit.

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lg3 February 07, 2013 1:00 pm

Spot on! That's exactly what he was doing. You don't want to allow the player to offload in that position.

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GraceOfBod February 07, 2013 2:03 pm

He wanted to stop the offload mate

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BP February 06, 2013 11:09 pm

In this instance I think going high and losing some ground was a pretty solid ploy. The Welsh team thrives on offloads and if O'Driscoll cuts him low, considering how isolated he is in defence, it will be pretty simple to offload it to any of the many support players. By going high and wrapping Evans' arms he slows the ball down and gives Ireland time to realign in defence. To me it's a smart choice - and given the mismatch in size, and the fact Evans sees him coming, it would be pretty unlikely to dominate him as Gilroy does to Halfpenny - where Gilroy is bigger and Halfpenny hasn't time to set his body.

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Tc February 06, 2013 11:47 pm

Watch the inside o2 clip. They make reference to the Irish holding up rather than tackling to the floor, so you are probably right. personally, i would try to get to ground, one of the many reasons why i don't have any international caps!

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ConnachtMan February 07, 2013 11:28 am

I love the "Ahhhhh" at the end

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Mark February 07, 2013 12:44 pm

BOD had to go high. No other way to tackle a bigger player that close to the line. As said in previous comments, better to stop the guy from off loading (and disorientate him with the strength of the hit) and if you lose a couple of yards overall it is an acceptable compromise.
Gilroy's tackle was spot on, due to great timing. As for Halfpenny on OBrien, with Welshman was lucky not to get knocked out, and only just took O'Brien off his feet. Rather than aim for the attackers legs with your head, surely a more conventional tackle would have worked better, and been much safer for the tackler. Halfpeeny does have previous on not tackling properly, anyway. An Xray of his neck in later life could prove interesting, haha

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Canadian content February 07, 2013 11:54 pm

Agreed with the commentator on the day criticizing O'brien for running full speed into the tackle, all Halfpenney had to do was get in front of him. If he had got himself under control, he'd have been hard to take down.

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Patrick H February 08, 2013 12:26 am

"all Hafpenny had to do was get in front of him."
You do realise thar was Sean O'Brien (AKA The Tullow Tank) running directly at him at full tilt.
Halfpenny is either totally insane or one seriously brave b*****d!
Either way hats off to him!

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