Were they really leather lapels? Dear oh dear, that was the question which prompted much mirth among the lads in the BT Sport studio ahead of the Leinster-Wasps match from the RDS.
The fashion-conscious wearer of those lapels was none other than Brian O’Driscoll and it’s safe to say that he was in no mood for any laughter in watching his old rugby chums get stung all over the place by the predatory invaders.
Before it all got under way, the sartorially elegant BOD had joined presenter Craig Doyle in the windiest corner of the pitch where the two had joked of a "horror show" if players didn't manage to get to grips with the elements.
Unfortunately for them, that’s exactly what unfolded in front of their very eyes as the #D4tress proved to be nothing of the sort. More of a collapsing pack of cards really.
Toughest of all
Commentator Al Eykyn had forewarned that this group was the toughest of all in the competition, and all of the pre-match analysis from Dricco and
and the in-studio guys
had all promised a close, tight game.
It was telling that O’Driscoll was giving what amounted to a post-mortem of his old team’s failings and inevitable defeat with some 20 minutes left in the game.
“They haven’t helped themselves,” admitted O’Driscoll of Leinster’s performance, calling them “shapeless”.
As he elaborated, "It's about intent and want and Leinster have been wanting in that regard."
Nobody saw this coming, that's for sure, as the slick build-up from BT brought us cameos of Ian Madigan stopping on his way into the dressing rooms to buy a cup of coffee and other images of the home players in jovial form and seemingly up for the battle ahead even in light of a casualty list that was like something out of M*A*S*H.
"No Rob Kearney first of all," O'Driscoll had reminded Doyle. "No Isa Nacewa. "
Nacewa in fact did make an appearance, but only to have a halftime pitchside chat with Doyle when the reality of the nightmare was starting to unfold while the lads back in the studio – who had forgotten all about O’Driscoll’s leather lapels and were now joking about the weird bounces of prolate spheroids – appeared to be revelling in Leinster’s pain.
By the end, there was obvious pain in O’Driscoll’s post-match summary of his former team-mates.
“When you look at every area you can improve on [for next weekend’s visit to Bath], you could tick every box . . . I just wonder how do Leinster find a way out of this group. They have to win against Bath, [losing again] is not the sort of situation you want to find yourself in two games into the group.”
Leo Cullen’s interview with Doyle when it was all over was of a man seeking find something positive out of a bag of negatives. “It leaves us scrambling in the Pool,” the coach finally conceded.
If those at the RDS were feeling a bit blue with their opening match of the campaign, the contrast with Thomond Park on Saturday evening was the opposite.
Although Sky Sports commentator Rupert Cox had opened with the words that it was "with a heavy heart we welcome you here . . . " after the terrorist attacks in Paris, and Munster and Treviso players stood shoulder to shoulder with each other in observing the minute's silence in respect to the victims, there was something of a lively party by the end as Munster started the post-Paul O'Connell era with a bonus point win.