Six Nations

Follow Brian O'Driscoll's final home game for Ireland

Emmet Riordan Sat, Mar 8
 
LIVE: Six Nations

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  • Good afternoon and welcome to the biggest going-away do Ireland has seen since the Titanic was launched. Of course Brian O'Driscoll has proved indestructible. But at 35 years of age, Ireland's midfield genius will play his final game in green on home soil and the build-up has been all about BOD.

    And true to his character, O'Driscoll has played everything down, at times looking embarrassed by all the fuss. In saying that you sense that he'll want to give the Lansdowne Road crowd a little something to remember his final home Irish outing by.

    The game kicks off at 2.30pm and we'll have minute by minute updates as we go along. You can send in your best wishes/favourite memories of BOD through our comments section and I'll publish them out.
  • Gerry Thornley believes that O'Driscoll's team-mates will want to get some points on the board against Italy and march on Paris next weekend to launch a bid for the Championship title as the perfect send-off. Read Gerry's preview here.    
  • Matt Williams writes about his good friend Driccy and tells a few stories from down the years. "Naughty boys make the best rugby players," says Matt. Read it here.  
  • Gerry also sat down with Ireland forwards coach John Plumtree, whose nomadic rugby journey has led him to Ireland.    
  • Here are the teams for this afternoon's game.  

      Ireland:
    R Kearney (Leinster); A Trimble (Ulster), B O’Driscoll (Leinster), G D’Arcy (Leinster), D Kearney (Leinster); J Sexton (Racing Metro), C Murray (Munster); C Healy (Leinster), R Best (Ulster), M Ross (Leinster), D Toner (Leinster), P O’Connell (Munster, capt), I Henderson (Ulster), C Henry (Ulster), J Heaslip (Leinster).

    Replacements: S Cronin (Leinster), J McGrath (Leinster), M Moore (Leinster), R Ruddock (Leinster), J Murphy (Leinster), E Reddan (Leinster), P Jackson (Ulster), F McFadden (Leinster).

     Italy: L McLean (Treviso); A Esposito (Treviso), M Campagnaro (Treviso), G Garcia (Zebre), L Sarto (Zebre); L Orquera (Zebre), T Tebaldi (Ospreys); A De Marchi (Treviso), L Ghiraldini (Treviso), M Castrogiovanni (Toulon), Q Geldenhuys (Zebre), M Bortolami (Zebre, capt), J Furno (Biarritz), P Derbyshire (Treviso), R Barbieri (Treviso).

    Replacements: D Giazzon (Zebre), M Rizzo (Treviso), L Cittadini (Treviso), A Pavanello (Treviso), M Vosawai (Treviso), E Gori (Treviso), T Allan (Perpignan), A Masi (Wasps).

    Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales).
    Assistant referees: Pascal Gauzere (France) and Greg Garner (England)

  • Here's a breakdown of Brian O'Driscoll's 139 games so far, starting 14 years ago at Ballymore Stadium in Brisbane.
  • And here's BOD's record against Italy, his 15th in total. He's scored 6 tries in the 14 contests to date.  
  • The panel on RTÉ are looking at the strapping on Johnny Sexton's right thumb and are wondering will it affect his  performance today.

  • And Brian O'Driscoll leads the side out to a huge roar at the Aviva.
  • It seems a camera has been following him all week and he still can't avoid it. Shares a laugh with Paul O'Connell and you sense he's glad it's nearly time to play some rugby.
  • And now it's time for the anthems.
  • And we're underway at the Aviva as Luciano Orquera kicks off.
  • And we're underway at the Aviva as Luciano Orquera kicks off.
  • 1 min: Sexton's first up and under is not a great effort after some good handling.
  • 1 min: Sexton's first up and under is not a great effort after some good handling.
  • 2 mins: Good left-footed kick from Rob Kearney and Ireland have the lineout on half-way.
  • 5 mins: Ireland mixing it up well but Italy's defence has been strong to date - Orquera even made a tackle!
  • 6 mins: And Orquera knocks on when trying to intercept - he would have been away too.
  • Orquera's tackle on Gordon D'Arcy was a beaut also, good start from the Zebre player.  
  • 7 mins - TRY IRELAND: Sexton on the end of a beautiful pass from O'Driscoll.
  • Sexton  went down in the in-goal area after colliding with Leonardo Sarto after touching down. Back on his feet and everything is fine with referee Nigel Owens.
  • 7 mins - IRELAND 7 ITALY 0 - Sexton adds the extras and that's 13 kicks from 17 for the outhalf.
  • Martin Castrogiovanni is down on the ground and is receiving treatment. And tighthead replacement Lorenzo Cittadini is on the pitch.  
  • Sexton's try came from a great push from the first scrum and now with Castrogiovanni off the pitch it could prove rich pickings.
  • 9 mins: Michele Campagnaro bundled into touch by Andrew Trimble and Rory Best will throw in.
  • And Best is too long with the throw, but Ireland recover the ball.
  • 13 mins: Italy attacking really well at the moment and it's backs to the wall for the home side. But Ireland clear throw Rob Kearney's howitzer.
  • Brilliant break from Ireland, with Sexton, Heaslip and Trimble to the fore.
  • Maybe we can strap Sexton's left hand also, he's been brilliant so far.
  • 72% possession to Ireland in the early stages of the game.
  • Paul O'Connell knocks on after more enterprising play from Ireland. Moving it quickly through the backline.  
  • 16 mins - Conor Murray is going off to be replaced by Eoin Reddan.
  • The reports from the sideline is that Murray is feeling sick.
  • Just on the pitch, Reddan tries a cheeky kick to the corner with the Italian defence coming up. Just too much on the kick and Trimble can't collect as it goes into touch.
  • 19 mins: Luke McClean clears from the lineout and Best will have the lineout throw in a good position.
  • 20 mins: Ireland's forwards make it all the way to the line but the ball bounces forwards and the chance is gone.
  • Ireland's lineout has not been its excellent self so far, with Best again overthrowing to Devin Toner.
  • And Italy turn the ball over at the ruck and get the put-in at the scrum.
  • And the Ireland eight get the shove and Reddan puts pressure on Tito Tebaldi. Scrum advantage to Ireland.  
  • 25 mins - TRY ITALY - Leonardo Sarto
  • And the Kearney brothers won't want to see the video of that as Sarto evaded Rob on the sideline before coming inside and leaving Dave on his backside to go in. Orquera makes the conversion and the scores are level.
     IRELAND 7 ITALY 7  
  • 28 mins: Italy knock-on and scrum to Ireland as Best receives treatment.
  • 30 mins: Brilliant break from Reddan down the blindside but he's held up short of the line.
  • Ireland decide to go for the penalty instead of the lineout or scrum after Italy were pinged for offside.
  • 32 mins - IRELAND 10 ITALY 7 - Sexton knocks over the penalty to put Ireland back in the lead.
  • Knock-on Italy after McClean sells O'Connell a dummy in midfield.
  • 35 mins: taly have really come in to this game, helped by a lack of intensity from Ireland in the second quarter. Hard to pinpoint just why, but certainly lacklustre from the home side.
  • Manoa Vosawai on at openside  for Paul Derbyshire, who looks to have suffered concussion.
  • 38 mins - TRY IRELAND - Andrew Trimble.
  • O'Driscoll with a second assist after a prolonged period of attack. IRELAND 15 ITALY 7
  • 40  mins - IRELAND 17 ITALY 7 - Sexton with a beauty of a conversion from the  left touchline.  
  • HALF-TIME - IRELAND 17 ITALY 7: That's a huge lift for Ireland after what has been a strange first half. O'Driscoll is certainly focussed on the match and not the occasion with two assists and plenty of work around the park as usual. A few worrying lapses in defence with Italy taking full advantage. The intensity needs to be ramped up in the second half, for the full 40.    
  • Colum Farrelly This is rugby to impart heat to obscure cardiac molluscs, as Myles Na gCopaleen would say. (It warms the cockles of your heart, for those not familiar with their Myles)
  • The teams are coming back out and there's no changes. Derbyshire came back on to the pitch for Italy towards the end of the first half.  
  • And Sexton gets things underway again.
  • Orquera with a brilliant kick into the Irish half.
  • Mark COME ON IRELAND! Need to build up a big score to increase the score difference incase it comes down to that!!
  • Ireland have gone back to the tried and tested rolling maul and they win the penalty.
  • 42 mins: And Sexton goes down the line with the kick to just inside the Italian 10-metre line.
  • Toner takes and Ireland go a mauling again.
  • Penalty against Sexton for being offside from Brian O'Driscoll's kick through.
  • O'Driscoll right at the bottom of that ruck and wins the penalty and Sexton kicks down to the 22. Lineout maul perhaps?
  • Fists fly as a  game that had not been dirty up to now goes off.
  • Nigel Owens will go to the TMO to see if any action is required.
  • A brave Tebaldi got O'Connell in a headlock but nothing much happened. Tebaldi is penalised.  
  • 48 mins - Penalty in the middle of the field but Sexton is going for the corner.
  • And Italy win the scrum with some great defence.
  • 51 mins: McClean can only clear to inside his '22.
  • And here comes the maul.
  • 53 mins: TRY - IRELAND: Cian Healy barges over. IRELAND 22 ITALY 7.
  • Reddan tried a cheeky break but he's held up. Healy's bulk gets him over and it's his last impact on this game as  he is replaced after a brilliant hour.  
  • 54 mins - IRELAND 22 ITALY 7 - Sexton's conversion drifts wide.

  • Seán Cronin on for Rory Best and Rhys Ruddock on for Iain Henderson as Joe Schmidt starts to spring the bench with 25 minutes to play.
  • Jack McGrath on for his Leinster team-mate Healy in the frontrow.
  • 57 mins: Devin Toner loses the ball forward in the tackle but Rob Kearney counter-attacks.
  • Johnny Sexton seems to have shipped a knock and will Paddy Jackson come on?
  • Martin Moore on for Mike Ross and Ireland have an all-new frontrow.  
  • Sexton remains on the pitch for now.
  • Vosawai replaces Derbyshire and Alberto De Marchi off and Michele Rizzo on.  
  • 58 mins: O'Driscoll finds himself in open field but he has no support and takes a knock for his troubles.
  • The crowd go wild as the camera focuses in on Amy Huberman and daughter Sadie in the crowd. Wonderful moment.
  • And hubby and daddy Brian is back on his feet.
  • And hubby and daddy Brian is back on his feet.
  • 60 mins - TRY IRELAND - And what a pass from Brian O'Driscoll as Sexton goes in for his second try
  • One-handed off his left hand to Rob Kearney from BOD, on to Dave Kearney and Sexton goes in in the corner. Brilliant stuff.
  • 61 mins - IRELAND 27 ITALY 7 - Sexton can't make the kick from out on the touchline.
  • 62 mins - And Brian O'Driscoll leaves the pitch with a huge smile to a standing ovation. Incredible scenes at the Aviva.
  • Fergus McFadden has come on for O'Driscoll, who has been brilliant all over the par. His part in the 3 tries will obviously be on the highlights reel, but he was immense all over the park.
  • Ireland (+62) are now 41 points ahead of England (+21) in the points difference as Paddy Jackson comes on for Sexton.
  • So can Ireland add a few more scores to make the equation a bit easier next week in Paris.
  • Tomasso Allan on for Orquera and Antonio Pavanello on for Bortolami
  • 68 mins: Ireland lineout close to the Italian line.
  • TRY - IRELAND: Seán Cronin over in the corner. IRELAND 32 ITALY 7
  • Rhys Ruddock made a brilliant steal and Cronin yet again makes a brilliant run to get over in the corner.
  • 70 mins - IRELAND 34 ITALY 7 - And Jackson nails the kick from a tight angle.
  • So everything going right now for Ireland and it's just a case of avoising any injuries now for Joe Schmidt's side.  
  • The camera focuses on BOD and the crowd go crazy again. Nice way to finish your final game at home. Shame he doesn't have a nice cocktail and a Cuban cigar!
  • 72 mins: Scrum to Italy after a forward pass from Jackson in his own '22.
  • Intensity has gone out of the game now and Jordi Murphy makes his home debut as Chris Henry goes off after another great shift at opendside.
  • 76 mins: Jackson kicks to the corner as Ireland launch one more effort.  
  • Ralph Keyes gives Brian O'Driscoll his man of the match award and the crowd go mad again.
  • 78 - TRY - IRELAND: Fergus McFadden right under the posts to seal a dream day. Jackson kicks the conversion. IRELAND 41 ITALY 7
  • And the PA man announces BOD's man of the match award and it's a  carnival at the Aviva.
  • Trimble kicked through for Dave Kearney in the corner but they go back for the penalty.
  • TRY - IRELAND: Jack McGrath stretches over and touches down for the cherry on the top. First try for tghe Leinster loosehead. IRELAND 46 ITALY 7
  • FULL-TIME - IRELAND 46 ITALY 7 - Jackson fails with the conversion  and that's the final whistle.  
  • Well that was very easy for Ireland in the second half as Italy failed to come back out after a good first half.
  • The emotional is getting to Brian O'Driscoll now but he holds himself together.
  • "I feel humbled by the reception today, but it's a bit ridiculous getting the man of the match for 60 minutes," says BOD.  
  • It's all about next week against France says O'Driscoll,  ever the pro.
  • "Thank you to everyone here, it's been incredible," O'Driscoll finishes off as they raise a huge banner in his honour on the pitch.
  • And Brian O'Driscoll, with baby Sadie in his arms, takes to the middle of the Aviva Stadium to take the applause of the crowd, who have remained in place.
  • Hugs all round for family and friends for Brian O'Driscoll.
  • So Ireland now enjoy a 60-point advantage over England, 75 over Wales and 80 over France, who play Scotland at Murrayfield next. England meet Wales at Twickenham tomorrow.  
  • And you can view the updates Six Nations table here.
  • Ronan O'Gara believes Ireland are technically superior to France at the moment and will have no fear of going to Paris next weekend.
  • He measures that comment with the fact that Ireland's record in Paris is so poor.  
  • ROG points to the impact the bench made as being huge. And indeed if you compare it to Rome last year, it is certainly the case.
  • "The players that came on really added value," says Joe Schmidt.
  • On O'Driscoll he says: "He was class, in the modern day of big straight-running centres, he showed that courage and class comes through."
  • On O'Driscoll he says: "He was class, in the modern day of big straight-running centres, he showed that courage and class comes through."
  • Women's 6N - 5 mins -  Ireland 3 (Niamh Briggs, pen) Italy 0  
  • 6N - 11 min: Scotland 0 France 6 (Maxime Machenaud, 2 pen)
  • 6N - 14 mins: Scotland  7 (Stuart Hogg, try;  Greig Laidlaw  con), France 6
  • 6N - 16 mins: Scotland 7 France 9 (Machenaud, pen)
  • Women's 6N - 28 mins: Ireland 6 (Niamh Briggs, pen) Italy 0
  • 6N - 23 mins: Scotland  14 (Tommy Seymour try; Laidlaw con), France 9
  • Women's 6N - 33 mins: Ireland 13 Italy 0 (Claire Molloy, try; Briggs, con) - Great try from Ireland's openside flanker after a mazy run.
  • Women's 6N -  40 mins: Ireland  20  (Lynne Cantwell, try; Briggs, con), Italy 0
  • Women's 6N - Half-time: Ireland 20  Italy 0 - The women's team have kept up the momentum from the men's game on their debut at Lansdowne Road and are in complete control against Italy at the break.
  • 6N - Half-time: Scotland 14   France 9
  • Women's 6N - 50 mins: Ireland 25 (Alison Miller, try) Italy 0 - Lovely finish from the left wing, who has threatened all night.
  • 6N - 46 mins: Scotland 14 France 16 (Yoann Huget, try; Machenaud con) - Intercept try from the winger from inside his own '22.
  • Women's 6N - 66 mins: Ireland 32  (Heather O'Brien, try; Briggs, con) Italy  0 - Lovely break off the back of the pack for O'Brien to go over.
  • France still lead by 2 points against Scotland at Murrayfield going into the last quarter.  
  • 6N - 62 mins: Scotland 17 (Duncan Weir, pen), France 16
  • Women's 6N - Full-time: Ireland 39  Italy 0 - Sub Jenny Murphy gets over  for a try on the whistle and Nora Stapleton converts.   Ireland go top of the table thanks to a better points difference over England. France will go back top with a victory over bottom side Scotland at home tomorrow. That will put France 2 points clear, with Ireland travelling to take them on next Friday.  
  • And there's 5 minutes to go at Murrayfield and Scotland still lead by a point - 17-16
  • And France win a kickable penalty with 2 and half minutes left.
  • 79 mins - SCOTLAND 17 FRANCE 19  (Jean-Marc Doussain, pen)
  • One minute to go at Murrayfield.
  • And it's France who have the ball.
  • 6N FULL-TIME - SCOTLAND 17 FRANCE 19
  • And here's the updated table after France's late win at Murrayfield.