Brilliant O’Driscoll back to bewitch, bother and bamboozle visiting Blues at the RDS
Speed, rivalry and cash seem to have everything moving that bit quicker for Leinster than for Munster
Brian O’Driscoll (lef) bamboozled opposite man Owen Williams of the Cardiff Blues more than once in last week’s Rabo Direct Pro 12 game at the RDS. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Forget the Lions Test series, forget the Autumn Internationals and, at a push, forget the Six Nations or the All-Irelands, for the best two-horse race I’ve ever seen was the America’s Cup series where the USA pipped New Zealand in the 17th and last race of the series.
That Emirates Team New Zealand were 8 to 1 up and lost to Oracle Team USA made the rivalries at crew, skipper, owner and country sensational.
These catamaran boats sail at three times the wind, in fact the speedboat RIB bringing the crew across the water is slower!
Oracle Team USA skipper James Spithill (from Australia!) hammered Emirates Team New Zealand’s skipper Dean Barker (from New Zealand) up wind. To see the effect of this loss on Barker google his interview “Campbell Live talks to Dean Barker”.
Considering the week that’s in it with the ERC debacle and Thomond Park tomorrow three things strike me from the America’s Cup; speed, rivalry and crucially if you lack either of these, a bottomless pit of money can get everything moving quicker.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is listed by Forbes as the third wealthiest person in America and on winning the Cup in 2010 decided the sport needed to be faster and more exciting (sound familiar?).
Money talks and with almost no American crew on board Oracle, sentiment walks.
Well, Brian O’Driscoll is back and in the 13th minute showed all his class, against the Cradiff Blues. Isaac Boss fired out to Ian Madigan, who found O’Driscoll; facing a three-on-five defence disadvantage O’Driscoll carried in both hands, as he did for Simon Zebo’s Six Nations try.
He had hooker Seán Cronin outside him and centre Noel Reid on the touch line. With Matthew Rees correctly lining up inside shoulder, O’Driscoll targeted the Cardiff hooker before simply slipping outward towards Cardiff’s scrumhalf Lloyd Williams, who, inexplicably, completely ignored the brilliant line from Cronin (clearly he’s never watched Cronin before!).
Once again O’Driscoll had transfixed a midfield by simply carrying in both hands, moving at speed and adjusting the lines of running. Williams, unforgivably, stepped in to O’Driscoll even though Rees had him and all it took was a gentle pop to a great line and over Cronin went; three attackers versus five defenders!
Moments after the restart O’Driscoll fired a flat pass out the line before getting back on the ball, with both hands, to slip around Williams (again) with a left-hand fend. Then, he fixes his eyes on Cardiff’s Dafydd Hewitt and “backdoors” with one hand to Quinn Roux.
However, O’Driscoll’s greatest asset continues to be his comfort on the gain line in heavy traffic, fixing defenders before finding a pattern pop, offload or flat pass, as he did when bamboozling his opposite man, Owen Williams, with moments left in the half.