Thursday 22 March 2018

Sexton 'drop' brought back '09 memories

David Wallace

It was a massive squad effort to put Johnny Sexton in the position to score that drop-goal against France last weekend. And of course it had many similarities with Ronan O'Gara's effort when we won the Grand Slam in Cardiff nine years ago.

We didn't go from one end of the field to the other but the tension was massive, and I remember my final carry just before Peter Stringer gave the pass to ROG.

You have to be brave to take the ball on at that stage. It does run through your mind, what happens if you drop it, the consequences for your whole team and country.

You don't want to be the one who messes up, and that's a good thing too because complacency doesn't come into it. But I remember it was such a nervous end to that game with the Grand Slam at stake.

We had built for that situation. I don't know was it even called on the day but we had practised it in training prior to the game.

They are a series of army plays you call on where you try to get into the middle of the pitch. You have two pods and work down the field. We weren't in the same position as Ireland were last weekend. But it was another do-or-die scenario.

At the end of it, Sexton showed why is a world-class operator - just like ROG did in 2009.

Irish Independent

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