Tuesday 20 August 2019

Audio: Paul O'Connell forced to explain rugby rules to Marian Finucane live on air

2.34:Paul O'Connell goes over to opening the scoring for Ireland
2.34:Paul O'Connell goes over to opening the scoring for Ireland
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The last few, quite surreal, moments in England's victory over France on Saturday left many Irish fans cursing repeatedly at their television screens but Marian Finucane was left wondering what all the fuss was about.

England needed to beat France by 26 points or more to prize the Six Nations title away from Joe Schmidt's Ireland team. in the 80th minute they led by 20. A converted try would have won England the title and they were agonisingly close to the French try line.

Then, the French won a penalty and that was it surely. The next time the ball was dead, Ireland would be champions. RTE commentator Hugh Cahill exploded with joy proclaiming Ireland as 2015 Six Nations champions but then came the surreal moment when French player Yoann Huget took a quick penalty.

The French wanted to make the scoreboard that bit more respectable but they were gambling with Ireland's Six Nations as they tried to run the ball from their own try line.

Their plan, and Ireland's hopes, almost blew up in their face as they spilled the ball and England came close to gaining possession. Rory Kockott eventually gathered the ball and booted it out of play to secure back-to-back titles for Ireland.

Captain Paul O'Connell was on the Marian Finucane Show on RTE Radio 1 yesterday and Marian asked: "What was that kerfuffle at the end when people were saying will you just get on with it?"

Cue a calm O'Connell to explain the rules to Marian.

"You see, they got a penalty on their own line. If France were playing for us, they’d just kick it out. But they weren’t. They wanted to score a try. They wanted to reduce the margin as much as they could. So they took a quick tap and went for it. Then decided against it and kicked it out… "

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