Monday 18 February 2019

When red and green collide


Brian Price v Noel Murphy: A sore jaw for Murphy and a bad taste in the mouth for the Irish nation as Price floored 'Noisy' when Grand Slam-chasing Ireland were six points ahead in Cardiff.

Price somehow avoided a red card, while pack leader Murphy was rendered ineffectual. The incident reduced the match into a series of running battles before Wales pulled away to win 24-11. Ironically, Price may well be the sorest about that punch as he felt it unfairly coloured his career.


Welsh v Irish supporters

When the great Wales teams of the 1970s were in their pomp -- JPR Williams, Gareth Edwards et al -- their supporters were insufferable, you didn't beat Wales they used to say, you were simply lucky enough to score more points than them. As well as propping up the career of rabble-rousing comedian Max Boyce, it also saw the common practice of visiting supporters being urinated upon by Welsh fans in the upper tier of the old Cardiff Arms Park. Given that Ireland never managed a win in Wales throughout the 1970s, Irish fans were particularly put upon.


Tony Copsey v Neil Francis

Francis was considerably more talented than his English, Wales-adopted opposite number and Copsey knew it. The Wales second-row was determined not to be embarrassed on his debut at Lansdowne Road and adopted a policy of niggle and nag with Francis to disrupt the Irishman's role as chief line-out supplier. This culminated in an almighty haymaker which took Francis out of it and had a significant say in a distinctly average Wales team sneaking a 16-15 victory.


Shane Williams v Marcus Horan

After an ill-tempered Heineken Cup clash between the Ospreys and Munster, the Welsh side made a false claim that Marcus Horan had racially abused centre Elvis Seveali'i, with the Samoan's claims backed up by Wales star Williams at an ERC hearing. Though the accusation was thrown out, before the rematch Horan spoke about the pain the incident had caused him. "I haven't spoken to Elvis Seveali'i since the incident and I actually wouldn't bother going near him or Shane Williams. They didn't have the guts or the balls to look me in the eyes when they were spouting lies, so I don't think I would give them the time of day."


Gavin Henson v Brian O'Driscoll

After contributing a penalty against England, Henson felt obliged to bring out a book charting his role in Wales' 2005 success entitled: 'My Grand Slam Year'. In it, he claimed O'Driscoll eye-gouged him, called him 'cocky' and pulled his hair. O'Driscoll utterly refuted the accusation of gouging and went on to criticise Henson for comments made in his book about players on the Lions tour to New Zealand. "Gavin wants to vent his personal frustration," was O'Driscoll's take.

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