Opportunistic thieves burgle Leinster coach Schmidt's house

Tue, Dec 11, 2012, 00:00

Leinster’s head coach Joe Schmidt had a double dose of bad luck over the weekend: just as his side failed to steal a victory against French side Clermont, his Dublin home was burgled by opportunistic thieves.

Raiders took a number of items including the two Heineken Cup medals the New Zealand rugby coach won after leading Leinster to back-to-back victories in the competition over the last two seasons.

However, alert gardaí in the area arrested three men near the scene shortly afterwards. They were being questioned at Rathfarnham station last night. All the items were recovered after the men were detained.

One source familiar with the details of the burglary said: “It’s not the first time this has happened. About nine or 10 months ago his house was ransacked when he was away with Leinster as well, but all that was stolen was a small amount of New Zealand dollars”.

A Garda spokesman confirmed that gardaí were alerted to a break-in in the Churchtown area of Dublin at 6.15pm on Sunday evening, but declined to name the owner of the home. “We can also confirm that three males were arrested a short time later near the scene. Property taken was recovered,” the spokesman added.

The incident compounded a weekend of misfortune for the Leinster coach.

Mr Schmidt saw his Leinster side lose by three points to Clermont in a Heineken cup defeat that leaves his team fighting for survival. The loss also brought Leinster’s 17-match unbeaten run in the competition came to an end.

Mr Schmidt admitted to feeling “devastated” after the team’s loss which he said was “incredibly disappointing.”

“We were close enough to steal it,” he said. “We dominated territory in the second half and created some really good opportunities but we just were not precise enough.”