Pride in the jersey


People had questioned our integrity, our pride, our passion, but we produced a big passionate performance today

Brian O’Driscoll, commenting after Leinster’s 25-6 win over Munster in the ERC.

Brian O’Driscoll is one of the classiest acts knocking around in sport. Quite apart from being a genuinely world class player who applies himself with diligence to his craft, he is modest in victory and generous in defeat. When asked a number of years back after another quarter-final disappointment for Leinster who he would be cheering for in the rest of the tournament, he replied “Munster, of course!” and you could see he meant it – it never entered his head to think otherwise.

Which makes the quote above all the more significant. Even someone as mellow as O’Driscoll found the constant cuts at Leinster’s supposed lack of pride to be galling. Imagine if he had read Leinster being described as “those British chaps from Dublin“? Imagine then his thoughts as he went out to face that bould son of Erin, Lifeimi Mafi. Pain? In the words of another fake Irishman, the trick is not bothering about the pain.

I’m generally dismissive of the notion that players can be buoyed up by the words of their opponents (see: Richie Bennis), but that doesn’t mean you should tempt fate. Munster and their boosters have being doing this for years now, and it well and truly blew up in our collective faces yesterday. If nothing else, the embarrassment factor should mitigate against such behaviour.

Of course, some would argue that Waterford are in no position to be lecturing anyone on pompous jersey-kissing antics, to which I’d say that you are right. The embarrassment factor certainly applies when the men who would die for the jersey are as good as their word on the biggest occasion. But at least no one from Waterford has ever said or implied that pride in their county / province is unique to ourselves. When the Irishmen of Leinster take to the field against Cardiff or Leicester in the ERC final, it’ll be interesting how many of the proud Paddies will be rooting for them.


6 thoughts on “Pride in the jersey

  1. Nora

    A gracious post indeed.
    I sat beside a GAA man in a pub in North Dublin yesterday and we roared in unison as we urged Brian onwards up the pitch for his try. He is indeed world class, and gracious with it.

  2. deiseach Post author

    Cheers, Nora. The function of the provinces playing in the ERC, as opposed to the likes of Cork Con, Shannon or Blackrock, is for the betterment of Irish rugby. Naturally I’d rather Munster had won yesterday, but Leinster winning is probably a better thing overall as it shows the wealth is being shared around. Although Leinster had better go and win the whole thing now!

  3. deiseach Post author

    No pressure or anything 😉

    Be sure to enjoy the moment. Waterford folk have had to put up with years of ridicule for not landing The Big One, but I refuse to let that dilute the enjoyment of the many great wins we’ve had

  4. Viv

    Hi deiseach You are a difficult person to catch up with, I cant find an direct email adress for you. I would like to get your thoughts on a new GAA website (27 Co Board’s involved) that is at a beta stage, Im looking for some feedback. I am in touch with Willie Joe on Green & Red and he is very helpful.

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