herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Celebrations need to come after try scored

The sublime running line that Tommy Bowe cut last week gave England little chance to defend against him, and it cannot be faulted. However, I just wish that these professional players would get the ball onto the ground with two hands instead of celebrating before the try is even scored.

Recently in an AIL match, a Dolphin player ran the full length of the field only to drop the ball with nobody in sight. I may sound rather pedantic on this issue, and, yes, it is fine if the game is already done and dusted, but both scores (remember Jamie Heaslip's last year against Scotland?) were at crucial times in the match.

We have certainly seen the athletes at the qualifying rounds of the Olympic Games over the years who slow down only to be overtaken in the last strides and consequently miss out. One of these days it is going to happen in rugby.

Players should be told to make sure they cover the ball with their body when they score to ensure this never happens. I suspect that Declan Kidney will not make any changes to last week's victorious side, but given how Leo Cullen suffered last time out it is hard to predict exactly what he will do.

This type of mindset is keeping all the Irish players honest, something we did not see at the last World Cup, where it seemed that at times the Irish side was perhaps deemed harder to get out of than into.

MY Six Nations Team of last weekend: Geordan Murphy (Ire); Tommy Bowe (Ire), Shane Williams (Wal), Conzalo Canale (Ita), Yannick Jauzion (Fra); Dan Parks (Sco), Danny Care (Eng); Thomas Domingo (Fra), Leonardo Ghiraldini (Ita), Nicolas Mas (Fra), Lionel Nallet (Fra), Paul O'Connell (Ire), Stephen Ferris (Ire), Mauro Bergamasco (Ita), Jamie Heaslip (Ire). Outstanding player: Stephen Ferris.

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