Six Nations Rugby | Championship Participant – Traditional Winners: Brian O’Driscoll 2006
The nice Irish heart has additionally been named a league participant extra occasions than anybody – three – with the primary of these coming in 2006.
It was a yr through which he grew to become the primary captain to carry a bodily Triple Crown trophy, as Eire completed second within the desk, behind the champions France with solely a factors distinction.
It was a spectacular return to type for O’Driscoll, whose time as captain of the British and Irish Lions had resulted in disappointment the earlier summer time.
O’Driscoll had the distinction of main the Lions in New Zealand in 2005, however his tour was interrupted by a spear deal with within the first minute of the primary Take a look at in opposition to the All Blacks.
Aged 27 on the time the 2006 Six Nations unfolded, O’Driscoll was coming into his prime years as a participant, with Eire rising as contenders after just a few lean many years.
They did not have the simplest begin, nonetheless, as Italy bravely held off Dublin earlier than lastly being overwhelmed 26-16, because of tries by Jerry Flannery and Tommy Bowe.
Then adopted a setback in opposition to France, who took a 43-3 lead with six tries within the first 48 minutes earlier than lastly slowing down, permitting Eire to take the ultimate rating to 43-31.
SET UP GOODBYE TO THE OLD HOUSE
Eire and O’Driscoll’s fortunes improved from that time, nonetheless, in opposition to their three Triple Crown opponents, the primary two of those that crossed the Irish Sea.
Impressed by O’Driscoll, Eddie O’Sullivan’s facet clinched a 34-5 win over Wales, with O’Driscoll organising the attempt for Shane Horgan early within the second half, which allowed the hosts to free themselves.
Then got here the distinction of main Eire to what was the ultimate league recreation at Lansdowne Highway, to which Scotland have been the guests.
Sadly, the previous location hasn’t been essentially the most thrilling of the send-offs, though Eire got here out victorious, with 5 penalties from Ronan O’Gara that earned them a 15-9 win over the Scots.
Bolstered by these two outcomes, the lads in inexperienced headed to Twickenham on the ultimate day of the Championship, with a second Triple Crown in three years to be received.
CROWNING THE GLORY OF THE CAPTAIN
England have been reeling from back-to-back defeats however they got here out of the traps, with Jamie Midday’s attempt opening the scoring after simply over a minute.
O’Driscoll was shortly in a position to vogue a response for Eire, along with his kick permitting Horgan to take advantage of a Ben Cohen mistake.
From that time on it grew to become a nip-and-tuck contest, with England main 24-21 within the finals, just for Horgan to sneak across the nook within the 79th minute to grab a victory 28-24.
For the primary time, the Triple Crown obtained a bodily reward within the type of a trophy and it ended up within the arms of O’Driscoll, one of many many items of silverware he collected on the course of a glowing profession.
O’Driscoll was considered one of 20 gamers nominated for the Championship title and considered one of seven Irish, alongside Flannery, Simon Easterby, Horgan, Denis Leamy, O’Gara and David Wallace.
That he completed above these, in addition to Christophe Dominici, Raphael Ibanez and Stephen Jones, testifies to the category he displayed that yr, at the same time as France have been topped champions.