Brian O’ Driscoll
In his final appearance at Lansdowne Road, Ireland’s finest sportsman produced sixty sumptuous minutes to remind everyone what we will all miss when he hangs up his boots at the end of the season. He delivered three deft offloads which led to three Irish tries, resulting in him being named Man of the Match. Ireland’s outside centre also set a new record of international test caps of 140. Let’s hope O’ Driscoll has some magic dust left for next week!
A dominant 29-18 win over Wales gave England their first Triple Crown since 2003. Tries from Danny Care and Luther Burrell gave the home side a controlling half-time position. But for a lapse in the final minutes in Paris the Red Rose would have been going to Rome with a Grand Slam up for grabs.
The Devon side will have home advantage in the LV Cup final after a thrilling 22-19 win over Bath at the Rec. Former Connacht wing, Fetu’u Vainikolo, was the hero with a stunning try to seal the Chiefs first victory over their West Country rivals for 36 years. Can Exeter secure their first piece of silverware in their 143 year history against Northampton next Sunday?
The Durban based outfit made it three wins from three with a bonus point victory over the Lions in the South African derby. The Sharks have been runners up four times but with World Cup winning coach, Jake White, at the helm, perhaps 2014 is the year the Sharks get their jaws on the Super Rugby trophy.
Apart from Leigh Halfpenny and Sam Warburton, Wales’ big game players failed to deliver. They were comprehensively outplayed by a much hungrier England team. Their plan of bulldozing their way through teams was found out once again. From champions to chumps in less than twelve months.
The Scottish replacement lock was warned by the referee, but he could not keep his hands out of the cookie jar. The Glasgow second rower conceded a penalty at the breakdown, right in front of the posts with two minutes left to allow Doussain a chance to steal victory for France at Murrayfield. The scrumhalf slotted the penalty to leave the Scots heartbroken and Swinson red faced.
The clock was in the red and Bath were trailing by three points in the LV Cup semi-final when they were awarded a penalty. Heathcote, who had a fine game, saw his effort drop just short and Bath’s dreams of the final vanished. Sport is cruel and the margins between being a hero and a villain can be just inches, as Bath’s fly-half found to his cost on Sunday.
Prop forwards are not noted for their intelligence but surely they would understand that physical contact with the referee is not allowed; not if you are Newcastle prop, Brookes, who received a six week ban for pushing Craig Garner during a match with Leicester Tigers. Mór an t-amadán thú, Kieron!
Pundit Arena, Matt Cassidy.