Tuesday 19 November 2019

Tony Ward: Seanie stirs a hornet's nest but he might yet feel sting

Leinster's Sean O'Brien during squad training. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Leinster's Sean O'Brien during squad training. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Tony Ward

Tony Ward

Whatever your take on his opinion of the recent Lions tour, Sean O'Brien sure stirred a hornet's nest when giving it timber in relation to what he deemed a golden opportunity lost to beat the All Blacks over the Test series.

I must confess it is not an opinion I share as I still believe the All Blacks, playing against the best of four full-time, professional countries, were still in a different class and a three-nil success to the home side would not have flattered.

That said 'the Tank' was on the ground closest to the heart of the action and is therefore better placed than most to voice that opinion.

Given his performances on the tour and his current status in the game, when he chooses to unload on the airwaves the world listens, analyses every word and reacts.

It is refreshing to hear a player get off his chest what he really feels but in retrospect I think Seanie might have chosen his words more carefully.

We've all been there - wanting to articulate what we feel in the moment when it matters.

Alas, it doesn't work like that and in whatever activity it is better, as Grandma used to say, 'to use the breath to cool the porridge'.

I am not a Warren Gatland fan but on this I do have some sympathy for the head coach and even more for Rob Howley given the sudden manner in which this storm has emerged.

But the real lesson will be for the player who, depending on form, fitness and the choice of coach to South Africa in 2021, could well be making a third tour.

It's been a tough time for the game of late and on Thursday in St Patrick's Church, Celbridge we bade another passionate and inspirational rugby man farewell as Pat Geraghty, former Leinster and more particularly Munster media officer, went to his eternal rest.

Wife Kathy, daughters Sarah and Mary-Kate, as well as his 'adopted son' Donncha O'Callaghan, spoke lovingly and glowingly of husband, dad, rugby father and Munster squad minder in everything but name.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

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