Brian O’Driscoll and Irish team finally win Grand Slam

Ireland’s first Grand Slam since 1948 was almost thrown away by late second half schoolboy errors in Cardiff, not worthy of the manner in which the Irish came out at the start of the second half. As usual the excellent and tenacious Brian O’Driscoll lead from the front at the Millennium Stadium, leading the Irish to their first Grand Slam for 52 years. His try changed the momentum of the game and put Wales on the back foot.

Tommy Bone’s individual try for Ireland set up Ireland for a long overdue Grand Slam and helped write Brian O’Driscoll and his Irish Rugby Union team into the history books.  Ireland almost threw a winning position away with silly penalties and errors, especially when Stephen Jones drop goal gave Wales a 15-14 lead with 5 minutes remaining on the clock.

Nevertheless, Ronan O’Gara’s drop goal with two minutes to go won the match 17-15, Six Nations Championship and Grand Slam for Ireland, but only just, as had Stephen Jones last kick of the game penalty gone over, Wales would have won the Triple Crown and this marvellously entertaining International Rugby match, denying Ireland the Grand Slam.

A thrilling end to a enthralling Six Nations decider, and certainly one than all the long suffering Irish fans will not forget. My congratulations to Ireland’s Captain Brian O’Driscoll and all the Irish team for the success they deserve after so many near misses. As Lewis Hamilton proved during the F1 title decider in Brazil last year, last minute last gasp championship wins are still a win, and the history books will always record him as World Champion, the margin of victory in the end only relevant if you were watching at the time. Ireland will always be Grand Slam Champions of 2009, but having watched the final kick of the game at the Millennium Stadium fall yards short of the uprights, and Lewis Hamilton’s one point victory in Sao Paulo, I will not forget how close both these Championship wins were.


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