Wednesday 21 March 2018

Touchlines Down Under: O'Driscoll's Brisbane record a lift for Irish

THE signs may be ominous for Ireland's injury-ravaged squad ahead of their final Test of a long and gruelling season against Australia this Saturday, but at least some omens are positive.

Brian O'Driscoll has played in Brisbane twice before and both memories are extremely positive ones for the Irish captain.

The first was the occasion of his first cap 11 years ago when, although Ireland were beaten, O'Driscoll showed signs of the promise that sees him run out at the weekend for his 103rd cap.

The second was the first Test of the 2001 Lions tour when the visitors hammered the Aussies 29-13, with O'Driscoll scoring a glorious solo try from half-way -- with the famous image of bewildered Australian scrum-half George Gregan asking his team-mates "what happened?" as he walked back under the posts.

And so to Saturday and, if further evidence of O'Driscoll's enduring quality were needed, one need only take a look at the Ballymore Stadium where he made his debut in 1999. The former home of the Queensland Reds is run down, decrepit and unwanted, while O'Driscoll carries on as strong as ever.

Relaxed licensing laws rile locals

BRISBANE residents are appalled by the spate of unruly late-night behaviour that has swept the streets recently following the relaxation of the late-night licensing laws.

In a letter to yesterday's local newspaper, Justin Page from the Stafford Heights suburb did not hold back when bemoaning the carry-on last weekend.

"Relaxing the laws is a greedy grab for money," wrote Mr Page. "Why should I have to step over dried vomit on my way to work in the CBD (Central Business District) as well as drunks trying to cadge money out of me for a trip home?"

Ah, calm down Justin, we'll be gone in a few days.


"That's not in my brief. You tell me."

The rather tetchy response of Australia's Kiwi coach Robbie Deans when asked where the Wallabies were in relation to the World Cup next year.

"For sure (we are). It's devastating."

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll, when he was asked were the Ireland squad following France's travails at the World Cup - their defeat yesterday to South Africa will surely leave the Irish team heartbroken.


The number of players involved in Saturday's match squads who have won less than 10 caps.

Compiled by Hugh Farrelly

Irish Independent

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