Sean O Brien

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Re: Sean O Brien

Postby riocard911 » May 27th, 2019, 8:44 pm

Twist wrote:His last game at a RWC was that one against France. I’ll never forgive that charlatan Papé for how he milked that, and carried on milking it at the hearing. No punishment for what Papé did, of course


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Yeah, but Seánie got revenge for his pal, Jamie. Only to be lauded in my - old school - opinion.
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Re: Sean O Brien

Postby neiliog93 » May 27th, 2019, 8:47 pm

Pape is a real piece of sh!t of a human being, both for the knee and the faking of injury after the punch (and continuing to whine and exaggerate at the hearing). As well as that he was generally a dirty guerrier throughout his career.

Fair play to SOB for socking him.
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Re: Sean O Brien

Postby neiliog93 » May 27th, 2019, 8:48 pm

Not much to say of SOB other than that he's the best ball carrier Ireland have ever had.
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Re: Sean O Brien

Postby wixfjord » May 27th, 2019, 8:50 pm

Thornholio made a very good point on today's Second Captains that I'd like to echo.

SOB was and is a hugely important player for people outside of 'traditional rugby areas' to look at and say 'I can do that' or 'I should support them'.

As someone from a similarly not traditional area to SOB, his and Tadhg's emergence definitely makes me feel closer to the team and it brings fans in that would normally ignore rugby.

It also helps that he's an absolute down to earth fella who would talk to anyone.

My two favourite SOB stories (so to speak!) -

The 'I'll give you spuds' story.
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=17301

The Fighting c~*ks Junior A appearance. Imaging trotting into full forward and seeing this specimen coming to meet you :lol:

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Re: Sean O Brien

Postby artaneboy » May 27th, 2019, 9:48 pm

Great compilation; little lump in the throat alright... :oops: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Sean O Brien

Postby hugonaut » May 27th, 2019, 11:17 pm

wixfjord wrote:Thornholio made a very good point on today's Second Captains that I'd like to echo.

SOB was and is a hugely important player for people outside of 'traditional rugby areas' to look at and say 'I can do that' or 'I should support them'.

As someone from a similarly not traditional area to SOB, his and Tadhg's emergence definitely makes me feel closer to the team and it brings fans in that would normally ignore rugby.


That element of 'off the pitch' influence was enormous. Six or seven [or eight] years ago I was walking through Terenure, just setting out for an evening game. Could have been one of the rare Thursday night games, but it was deep in Spring anyway, because it was still bright outside. These two lads were sitting in traffic on Terenure Road West in a van and they beeped the horn at me because I was wearing a Leinster jersey and offered me a lift to the game. Absolutely sound men. I had a good chat with them on the way there and it turned out they were lads from Carlow who'd just finished up for the day and were going to the game before heading back home.

I'm not an oul' fellah [... maybe I actually am at this stage] but I've been going to Leinster games for a pretty long time. I was at our first home Heineken Cup game against Pontypridd [Hogie punched Richie Collins in his massive bald head when he slapped the ball out of his hands putting it into the scrum], and I was at the 40-45 shootout in Donnybrook against Munster the following season when we had Dave Coleman and John McWeeney on the wings ... one of the most exciting games I've ever seen.

Anyway, part of it was the age I was at the time, part of it was the social circle, part of it was just where rugby was at the time in Ireland, but in the mid-late 90s and into the early 00s, Leinster games used to be where you met up before you went out out. The crowd was basically old fellahs from Dublin rugby clubs, young fellahs from Dublin rugby schools, and girls from south Dublin schools who were dressed to the nines and had a questionable level of interest in what was going on on the pitch. It was such a tiny little world - the world of the very earliest Ross O'Carroll Kelly diary entries in the Sunday Tribune.

Leinster had good players from outside Dublin in the 90s – Poppy, Brian Rigney, Pat Holden, Rory Sheriff, Spud Murphy, Reggie etc. – but only Poppy was outstanding, and Ireland were totally sh*t during his career ... he was on the losing side 32 times of a 48 test career. Shaggy was in the team as early as 1998, but Shaggy was like the Norman settlers you learn about in junior school history: they became 'more Irish than the Irish themselves', and Shaggy was a bigger southsider than anybody in the team.

The general attitude in Leinster had already changed when Seanie was coming into the team – and it was two guys from very much 'old Leinster' backgrounds, Leo Cullen and Shane Jennings, who were the most important figures in that change – but he was just such an exciting, unpolished and uncompromising player and personality that it seemed to me that he essentially captured the imagination of this significant tranche of people from all around Leinster who liked rugby but didn't like southsiders. That's half in jest ... half not in jest.

His play in the 2010-11 season was the rugby equivalent of Wayne Rooney in Euro 2004: just a force of nature. It was impossible to stay in your seat when he took the ball at pace. Someone was going to get demolished and there'd be a huge linebreak with this absolute unit in a scrum-cap flying through the backfield into open country looking for the tryline. Back in the days when we used to write articles on the DM, we wrote that "Sean O’Brien is pretty much Ireland’s best player in every game ... everyone in world rugby knows what a punishing and explosive runner he is, but he combines that with being the pack’s consistently hardest tackler, one of Ireland’s most frequent tacklers [in every game he plays] and a ferocious appetite for effective work." [source: https://dementedmole.com/2014/01/09/ruc ... mn-series/ ]. For those three years from the start of 2011 until the end of 2013, he was super-charged, at the absolute peak of his powers. He led us in everything in general play - running, offloading, hitting, tackling, stealing. After that, injuries took so much out of him that in hindsight it was little short of incredible that he could manage to hit the level of performance that he achieved for the Lions in 2017.

Since then he's been, not to beat about the bush, absolutely f*cked. It was genuinely sad seeing him come off the pitch against Wales and Saracens. He was a shadow of himself in those games, like a great boxer who has gone on too long and taken too much punishment. But he has been one of Leinster's greatest players, and [in my opinion] was the key factor – not that there weren't others, but he was the key one – in completely changing the attitude towards rugby across the entire province, which is a huge legacy.
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Re: Sean O Brien

Postby Ruckedtobits » May 28th, 2019, 12:05 am

hugonaut wrote:
wixfjord wrote:Thornholio made a very good point on today's Second Captains that I'd like to echo.

SOB was and is a hugely important player for people outside of 'traditional rugby areas' to look at and say 'I can do that' or 'I should support them'.

As someone from a similarly not traditional area to SOB, his and Tadhg's emergence definitely makes me feel closer to the team and it brings fans in that would normally ignore rugby.


That element of 'off the pitch' influence was enormous. Six or seven [or eight] years ago I was walking through Terenure, just setting out for an evening game. Could have been one of the rare Thursday night games, but it was deep in Spring anyway, because it was still bright outside. These two lads were sitting in traffic on Terenure Road West in a van and they beeped the horn at me because I was wearing a Leinster jersey and offered me a lift to the game. Absolutely sound men. I had a good chat with them on the way there and it turned out they were lads from Carlow who'd just finished up for the day and were going to the game before heading back home.

I'm not an oul' fellah [... maybe I actually am at this stage] but I've been going to Leinster games for a pretty long time. I was at our first home Heineken Cup game against Pontypridd [Hogie punched Richie Collins in his massive bald head when he slapped the ball out of his hands putting it into the scrum], and I was at the 40-45 shootout in Donnybrook against Munster the following season when we had Dave Coleman and John McWeeney on the wings ... one of the most exciting games I've ever seen.

Anyway, part of it was the age I was at the time, part of it was the social circle, part of it was just where rugby was at the time in Ireland, but in the mid-late 90s and into the early 00s, Leinster games used to be where you met up before you went out out. The crowd was basically old fellahs from Dublin rugby clubs, young fellahs from Dublin rugby schools, and girls from south Dublin schools who were dressed to the nines and had a questionable level of interest in what was going on on the pitch. It was such a tiny little world - the world of the very earliest Ross O'Carroll Kelly diary entries in the Sunday Tribune.

Leinster had good players from outside Dublin in the 90s – Poppy, Brian Rigney, Pat Holden, Rory Sheriff, Spud Murphy, Reggie etc. – but only Poppy was outstanding, and Ireland were totally sh*t during his career ... he was on the losing side 32 times of a 48 test career. Shaggy was in the team as early as 1998, but Shaggy was like the Norman settlers you learn about in junior school history: they became 'more Irish than the Irish themselves', and Shaggy was a bigger southsider than anybody in the team.

The general attitude in Leinster had already changed when Seanie was coming into the team – and it was two guys from very much 'old Leinster' backgrounds, Leo Cullen and Shane Jennings, who were the most important figures in that change – but he was just such an exciting, unpolished and uncompromising player and personality that it seemed to me that he essentially captured the imagination of this significant tranche of people from all around Leinster who liked rugby but didn't like southsiders. That's half in jest ... half not in jest.

His play in the 2010-11 season was the rugby equivalent of Wayne Rooney in Euro 2004: just a force of nature. It was impossible to stay in your seat when he took the ball at pace. Someone was going to get demolished and there'd be a huge linebreak with this absolute unit in a scrum-cap flying through the backfield into open country looking for the tryline. Back in the days when we used to write articles on the DM, we wrote that "Sean O’Brien is pretty much Ireland’s best player in every game ... everyone in world rugby knows what a punishing and explosive runner he is, but he combines that with being the pack’s consistently hardest tackler, one of Ireland’s most frequent tacklers [in every game he plays] and a ferocious appetite for effective work." [source: https://dementedmole.com/2014/01/09/ruc ... mn-series/ ]. For those three years from the start of 2011 until the end of 2013, he was super-charged, at the absolute peak of his powers. He led us in everything in general play - running, offloading, hitting, tackling, stealing. After that, injuries took so much out of him that in hindsight it was little short of incredible that he could manage to hit the level of performance that he achieved for the Lions in 2017.

Since then he's been, not to beat about the bush, absolutely f*cked. It was genuinely sad seeing him come off the pitch against Wales and Saracens. He was a shadow of himself in those games, like a great boxer who has gone on too long and taken too much punishment. But he has been one of Leinster's greatest players, and [in my opinion] was the key factor – not that there weren't others, but he was the key one – in completely changing the attitude towards rugby across the entire province, which is a huge legacy.


Well said @hugonaut. That sums it up perfectly.
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Re: Sean O Brien

Postby artaneboy » May 28th, 2019, 8:05 am

hugonaut wrote:
wixfjord wrote:Thornholio made a very good point on today's Second Captains that I'd like to echo.

SOB was and is a hugely important player for people outside of 'traditional rugby areas' to look at and say 'I can do that' or 'I should support them'.

As someone from a similarly not traditional area to SOB, his and Tadhg's emergence definitely makes me feel closer to the team and it brings fans in that would normally ignore rugby.


That element of 'off the pitch' influence was enormous. Six or seven [or eight] years ago I was walking through Terenure, just setting out for an evening game. Could have been one of the rare Thursday night games, but it was deep in Spring anyway, because it was still bright outside. These two lads were sitting in traffic on Terenure Road West in a van and they beeped the horn at me because I was wearing a Leinster jersey and offered me a lift to the game. Absolutely sound men. I had a good chat with them on the way there and it turned out they were lads from Carlow who'd just finished up for the day and were going to the game before heading back home.

I'm not an oul' fellah [... maybe I actually am at this stage] but I've been going to Leinster games for a pretty long time. I was at our first home Heineken Cup game against Pontypridd [Hogie punched Richie Collins in his massive bald head when he slapped the ball out of his hands putting it into the scrum], and I was at the 40-45 shootout in Donnybrook against Munster the following season when we had Dave Coleman and John McWeeney on the wings ... one of the most exciting games I've ever seen.

Anyway, part of it was the age I was at the time, part of it was the social circle, part of it was just where rugby was at the time in Ireland, but in the mid-late 90s and into the early 00s, Leinster games used to be where you met up before you went out out. The crowd was basically old fellahs from Dublin rugby clubs, young fellahs from Dublin rugby schools, and girls from south Dublin schools who were dressed to the nines and had a questionable level of interest in what was going on on the pitch. It was such a tiny little world - the world of the very earliest Ross O'Carroll Kelly diary entries in the Sunday Tribune.

Leinster had good players from outside Dublin in the 90s – Poppy, Brian Rigney, Pat Holden, Rory Sheriff, Spud Murphy, Reggie etc. – but only Poppy was outstanding, and Ireland were totally sh*t during his career ... he was on the losing side 32 times of a 48 test career. Shaggy was in the team as early as 1998, but Shaggy was like the Norman settlers you learn about in junior school history: they became 'more Irish than the Irish themselves', and Shaggy was a bigger southsider than anybody in the team.

The general attitude in Leinster had already changed when Seanie was coming into the team – and it was two guys from very much 'old Leinster' backgrounds, Leo Cullen and Shane Jennings, who were the most important figures in that change – but he was just such an exciting, unpolished and uncompromising player and personality that it seemed to me that he essentially captured the imagination of this significant tranche of people from all around Leinster who liked rugby but didn't like southsiders. That's half in jest ... half not in jest.

His play in the 2010-11 season was the rugby equivalent of Wayne Rooney in Euro 2004: just a force of nature. It was impossible to stay in your seat when he took the ball at pace. Someone was going to get demolished and there'd be a huge linebreak with this absolute unit in a scrum-cap flying through the backfield into open country looking for the tryline. Back in the days when we used to write articles on the DM, we wrote that "Sean O’Brien is pretty much Ireland’s best player in every game ... everyone in world rugby knows what a punishing and explosive runner he is, but he combines that with being the pack’s consistently hardest tackler, one of Ireland’s most frequent tacklers [in every game he plays] and a ferocious appetite for effective work." [source: https://dementedmole.com/2014/01/09/ruc ... mn-series/ ]. For those three years from the start of 2011 until the end of 2013, he was super-charged, at the absolute peak of his powers. He led us in everything in general play - running, offloading, hitting, tackling, stealing. After that, injuries took so much out of him that in hindsight it was little short of incredible that he could manage to hit the level of performance that he achieved for the Lions in 2017.

Since then he's been, not to beat about the bush, absolutely f*cked. It was genuinely sad seeing him come off the pitch against Wales and Saracens. He was a shadow of himself in those games, like a great boxer who has gone on too long and taken too much punishment. But he has been one of Leinster's greatest players, and [in my opinion] was the key factor – not that there weren't others, but he was the key one – in completely changing the attitude towards rugby across the entire province, which is a huge legacy.


Amen.


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Re: Sean O Brien

Postby Twist » May 28th, 2019, 8:06 am

riocard911 wrote:
Twist wrote:His last game at a RWC was that one against France. I’ll never forgive that charlatan Papé for how he milked that, and carried on milking it at the hearing. No punishment for what Papé did, of course


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Yeah, but Seánie got revenge for his pal, Jamie. Only to be lauded in my - old school - opinion.


I think Seánie was reacting to being groped by Papé


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Re: Sean O Brien

Postby OTT » May 28th, 2019, 8:42 am

hugonaut wrote:
wixfjord wrote:Thornholio made a very good point on today's Second Captains that I'd like to echo.

SOB was and is a hugely important player for people outside of 'traditional rugby areas' to look at and say 'I can do that' or 'I should support them'.

As someone from a similarly not traditional area to SOB, his and Tadhg's emergence definitely makes me feel closer to the team and it brings fans in that would normally ignore rugby.


That element of 'off the pitch' influence was enormous. Six or seven [or eight] years ago I was walking through Terenure, just setting out for an evening game. Could have been one of the rare Thursday night games, but it was deep in Spring anyway, because it was still bright outside. These two lads were sitting in traffic on Terenure Road West in a van and they beeped the horn at me because I was wearing a Leinster jersey and offered me a lift to the game. Absolutely sound men. I had a good chat with them on the way there and it turned out they were lads from Carlow who'd just finished up for the day and were going to the game before heading back home.

I'm not an oul' fellah [... maybe I actually am at this stage] but I've been going to Leinster games for a pretty long time. I was at our first home Heineken Cup game against Pontypridd [Hogie punched Richie Collins in his massive bald head when he slapped the ball out of his hands putting it into the scrum], and I was at the 40-45 shootout in Donnybrook against Munster the following season when we had Dave Coleman and John McWeeney on the wings ... one of the most exciting games I've ever seen.

Anyway, part of it was the age I was at the time, part of it was the social circle, part of it was just where rugby was at the time in Ireland, but in the mid-late 90s and into the early 00s, Leinster games used to be where you met up before you went out out. The crowd was basically old fellahs from Dublin rugby clubs, young fellahs from Dublin rugby schools, and girls from south Dublin schools who were dressed to the nines and had a questionable level of interest in what was going on on the pitch. It was such a tiny little world - the world of the very earliest Ross O'Carroll Kelly diary entries in the Sunday Tribune.

Leinster had good players from outside Dublin in the 90s – Poppy, Brian Rigney, Pat Holden, Rory Sheriff, Spud Murphy, Reggie etc. – but only Poppy was outstanding, and Ireland were totally sh*t during his career ... he was on the losing side 32 times of a 48 test career. Shaggy was in the team as early as 1998, but Shaggy was like the Norman settlers you learn about in junior school history: they became 'more Irish than the Irish themselves', and Shaggy was a bigger southsider than anybody in the team.

The general attitude in Leinster had already changed when Seanie was coming into the team – and it was two guys from very much 'old Leinster' backgrounds, Leo Cullen and Shane Jennings, who were the most important figures in that change – but he was just such an exciting, unpolished and uncompromising player and personality that it seemed to me that he essentially captured the imagination of this significant tranche of people from all around Leinster who liked rugby but didn't like southsiders. That's half in jest ... half not in jest.

His play in the 2010-11 season was the rugby equivalent of Wayne Rooney in Euro 2004: just a force of nature. It was impossible to stay in your seat when he took the ball at pace. Someone was going to get demolished and there'd be a huge linebreak with this absolute unit in a scrum-cap flying through the backfield into open country looking for the tryline. Back in the days when we used to write articles on the DM, we wrote that "Sean O’Brien is pretty much Ireland’s best player in every game ... everyone in world rugby knows what a punishing and explosive runner he is, but he combines that with being the pack’s consistently hardest tackler, one of Ireland’s most frequent tacklers [in every game he plays] and a ferocious appetite for effective work." [source: https://dementedmole.com/2014/01/09/ruc ... mn-series/ ]. For those three years from the start of 2011 until the end of 2013, he was super-charged, at the absolute peak of his powers. He led us in everything in general play - running, offloading, hitting, tackling, stealing. After that, injuries took so much out of him that in hindsight it was little short of incredible that he could manage to hit the level of performance that he achieved for the Lions in 2017.

Since then he's been, not to beat about the bush, absolutely f*cked. It was genuinely sad seeing him come off the pitch against Wales and Saracens. He was a shadow of himself in those games, like a great boxer who has gone on too long and taken too much punishment. But he has been one of Leinster's greatest players, and [in my opinion] was the key factor – not that there weren't others, but he was the key one – in completely changing the attitude towards rugby across the entire province, which is a huge legacy.



Was the Pontypridd match the one in Lansdowne under lights? (I think the second match under lights after the McCorry Cup final with the all conquering Rock dream team). Ritchie Collins got a red for a head butt in the end? I was at it with my dad.

You are so right about all you say, back then I went to Leinster matches to see our local club players play, it was very parochial. I was more interested in McGowan, Rolland, Ridge, Carey, Mullin, Oswald etc or Niall Woods who was playing over in England but would play for Leinster also then actually Leinster winning or losing.I remember McGowan battling it out with Ritchie Ormonde ( who was a class player) and Ritchie Murphy for the 10 jersey but all I cared about was the Rock man getting picked.

My SOB story is from the 09 final and drinking in Ryan’s pub on the morning of it in Edinburgh and there were this group of well oiled men, after getting chatting to them they had traveled from Tullow and had come on the ferry and been up all night and the pride they had in talking about SOB it was just feckin brilliant and we had seen enough that season to realize he was going to be special.

He definitely appealed to the masses and has helped our club and culture grow and unite, long may that continue.
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Re: Sean O Brien

Postby the spoofer » May 28th, 2019, 9:09 am

OTT wrote:
hugonaut wrote:
wixfjord wrote:Thornholio made a very good point on today's Second Captains that I'd like to echo.

SOB was and is a hugely important player for people outside of 'traditional rugby areas' to look at and say 'I can do that' or 'I should support them'.

As someone from a similarly not traditional area to SOB, his and Tadhg's emergence definitely makes me feel closer to the team and it brings fans in that would normally ignore rugby.


That element of 'off the pitch' influence was enormous. Six or seven [or eight] years ago I was walking through Terenure, just setting out for an evening game. Could have been one of the rare Thursday night games, but it was deep in Spring anyway, because it was still bright outside. These two lads were sitting in traffic on Terenure Road West in a van and they beeped the horn at me because I was wearing a Leinster jersey and offered me a lift to the game. Absolutely sound men. I had a good chat with them on the way there and it turned out they were lads from Carlow who'd just finished up for the day and were going to the game before heading back home.

I'm not an oul' fellah [... maybe I actually am at this stage] but I've been going to Leinster games for a pretty long time. I was at our first home Heineken Cup game against Pontypridd [Hogie punched Richie Collins in his massive bald head when he slapped the ball out of his hands putting it into the scrum], and I was at the 40-45 shootout in Donnybrook against Munster the following season when we had Dave Coleman and John McWeeney on the wings ... one of the most exciting games I've ever seen.

Anyway, part of it was the age I was at the time, part of it was the social circle, part of it was just where rugby was at the time in Ireland, but in the mid-late 90s and into the early 00s, Leinster games used to be where you met up before you went out out. The crowd was basically old fellahs from Dublin rugby clubs, young fellahs from Dublin rugby schools, and girls from south Dublin schools who were dressed to the nines and had a questionable level of interest in what was going on on the pitch. It was such a tiny little world - the world of the very earliest Ross O'Carroll Kelly diary entries in the Sunday Tribune.

Leinster had good players from outside Dublin in the 90s – Poppy, Brian Rigney, Pat Holden, Rory Sheriff, Spud Murphy, Reggie etc. – but only Poppy was outstanding, and Ireland were totally sh*t during his career ... he was on the losing side 32 times of a 48 test career. Shaggy was in the team as early as 1998, but Shaggy was like the Norman settlers you learn about in junior school history: they became 'more Irish than the Irish themselves', and Shaggy was a bigger southsider than anybody in the team.

The general attitude in Leinster had already changed when Seanie was coming into the team – and it was two guys from very much 'old Leinster' backgrounds, Leo Cullen and Shane Jennings, who were the most important figures in that change – but he was just such an exciting, unpolished and uncompromising player and personality that it seemed to me that he essentially captured the imagination of this significant tranche of people from all around Leinster who liked rugby but didn't like southsiders. That's half in jest ... half not in jest.

His play in the 2010-11 season was the rugby equivalent of Wayne Rooney in Euro 2004: just a force of nature. It was impossible to stay in your seat when he took the ball at pace. Someone was going to get demolished and there'd be a huge linebreak with this absolute unit in a scrum-cap flying through the backfield into open country looking for the tryline. Back in the days when we used to write articles on the DM, we wrote that "Sean O’Brien is pretty much Ireland’s best player in every game ... everyone in world rugby knows what a punishing and explosive runner he is, but he combines that with being the pack’s consistently hardest tackler, one of Ireland’s most frequent tacklers [in every game he plays] and a ferocious appetite for effective work." [source: https://dementedmole.com/2014/01/09/ruc ... mn-series/ ]. For those three years from the start of 2011 until the end of 2013, he was super-charged, at the absolute peak of his powers. He led us in everything in general play - running, offloading, hitting, tackling, stealing. After that, injuries took so much out of him that in hindsight it was little short of incredible that he could manage to hit the level of performance that he achieved for the Lions in 2017.

Since then he's been, not to beat about the bush, absolutely f*cked. It was genuinely sad seeing him come off the pitch against Wales and Saracens. He was a shadow of himself in those games, like a great boxer who has gone on too long and taken too much punishment. But he has been one of Leinster's greatest players, and [in my opinion] was the key factor – not that there weren't others, but he was the key one – in completely changing the attitude towards rugby across the entire province, which is a huge legacy.



Was the Pontypridd match the one in Lansdowne under lights? (I think the second match under lights after the McCorry Cup final with the all conquering Rock dream team). Ritchie Collins got a red for a head butt in the end? I was at it with my dad.

You are so right about all you say, back then I went to Leinster matches to see our local club players play, it was very parochial. I was more interested in McGowan, Rolland, Ridge, Carey, Mullin, Oswald etc or Niall Woods who was playing over in England but would play for Leinster also then actually Leinster winning or losing.I remember McGowan battling it out with Ritchie Ormonde ( who was a class player) and Ritchie Murphy for the 10 jersey but all I cared about was the Rock man getting picked.

My SOB story is from the 09 final and drinking in Ryan’s pub on the morning of it in Edinburgh and there were this group of well oiled men, after getting chatting to them they had traveled from Tullow and had come on the ferry and been up all night and the pride they had in talking about SOB it was just feckin brilliant and we had seen enough that season to realize he was going to be special.

He definitely appealed to the masses and has helped our club and culture grow and unite, long may that continue.


I was at that Ponty game. My first time in the West stand! Wasn't that the game where Alan McGowan hit the post 3 or 4 times?
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Re: Sean O Brien

Postby artaneboy » May 28th, 2019, 10:01 am

OTT wrote:
hugonaut wrote:
wixfjord wrote:Thornholio made a very good point on today's Second Captains that I'd like to echo.

SOB was and is a hugely important player for people outside of 'traditional rugby areas' to look at and say 'I can do that' or 'I should support them'.

As someone from a similarly not traditional area to SOB, his and Tadhg's emergence definitely makes me feel closer to the team and it brings fans in that would normally ignore rugby.


That element of 'off the pitch' influence was enormous. Six or seven [or eight] years ago I was walking through Terenure, just setting out for an evening game. Could have been one of the rare Thursday night games, but it was deep in Spring anyway, because it was still bright outside. These two lads were sitting in traffic on Terenure Road West in a van and they beeped the horn at me because I was wearing a Leinster jersey and offered me a lift to the game. Absolutely sound men. I had a good chat with them on the way there and it turned out they were lads from Carlow who'd just finished up for the day and were going to the game before heading back home.

I'm not an oul' fellah [... maybe I actually am at this stage] but I've been going to Leinster games for a pretty long time. I was at our first home Heineken Cup game against Pontypridd [Hogie punched Richie Collins in his massive bald head when he slapped the ball out of his hands putting it into the scrum], and I was at the 40-45 shootout in Donnybrook against Munster the following season when we had Dave Coleman and John McWeeney on the wings ... one of the most exciting games I've ever seen.

Anyway, part of it was the age I was at the time, part of it was the social circle, part of it was just where rugby was at the time in Ireland, but in the mid-late 90s and into the early 00s, Leinster games used to be where you met up before you went out out. The crowd was basically old fellahs from Dublin rugby clubs, young fellahs from Dublin rugby schools, and girls from south Dublin schools who were dressed to the nines and had a questionable level of interest in what was going on on the pitch. It was such a tiny little world - the world of the very earliest Ross O'Carroll Kelly diary entries in the Sunday Tribune.

Leinster had good players from outside Dublin in the 90s – Poppy, Brian Rigney, Pat Holden, Rory Sheriff, Spud Murphy, Reggie etc. – but only Poppy was outstanding, and Ireland were totally sh*t during his career ... he was on the losing side 32 times of a 48 test career. Shaggy was in the team as early as 1998, but Shaggy was like the Norman settlers you learn about in junior school history: they became 'more Irish than the Irish themselves', and Shaggy was a bigger southsider than anybody in the team.

The general attitude in Leinster had already changed when Seanie was coming into the team – and it was two guys from very much 'old Leinster' backgrounds, Leo Cullen and Shane Jennings, who were the most important figures in that change – but he was just such an exciting, unpolished and uncompromising player and personality that it seemed to me that he essentially captured the imagination of this significant tranche of people from all around Leinster who liked rugby but didn't like southsiders. That's half in jest ... half not in jest.

His play in the 2010-11 season was the rugby equivalent of Wayne Rooney in Euro 2004: just a force of nature. It was impossible to stay in your seat when he took the ball at pace. Someone was going to get demolished and there'd be a huge linebreak with this absolute unit in a scrum-cap flying through the backfield into open country looking for the tryline. Back in the days when we used to write articles on the DM, we wrote that "Sean O’Brien is pretty much Ireland’s best player in every game ... everyone in world rugby knows what a punishing and explosive runner he is, but he combines that with being the pack’s consistently hardest tackler, one of Ireland’s most frequent tacklers [in every game he plays] and a ferocious appetite for effective work." [source: https://dementedmole.com/2014/01/09/ruc ... mn-series/ ]. For those three years from the start of 2011 until the end of 2013, he was super-charged, at the absolute peak of his powers. He led us in everything in general play - running, offloading, hitting, tackling, stealing. After that, injuries took so much out of him that in hindsight it was little short of incredible that he could manage to hit the level of performance that he achieved for the Lions in 2017.

Since then he's been, not to beat about the bush, absolutely f*cked. It was genuinely sad seeing him come off the pitch against Wales and Saracens. He was a shadow of himself in those games, like a great boxer who has gone on too long and taken too much punishment. But he has been one of Leinster's greatest players, and [in my opinion] was the key factor – not that there weren't others, but he was the key one – in completely changing the attitude towards rugby across the entire province, which is a huge legacy.



Was the Pontypridd match the one in Lansdowne under lights? (I think the second match under lights after the McCorry Cup final with the all conquering Rock dream team). Ritchie Collins got a red for a head butt in the end? I was at it with my dad.

You are so right about all you say, back then I went to Leinster matches to see our local club players play, it was very parochial. I was more interested in McGowan, Rolland, Ridge, Carey, Mullin, Oswald etc or Niall Woods who was playing over in England but would play for Leinster also then actually Leinster winning or losing.I remember McGowan battling it out with Ritchie Ormonde ( who was a class player) and Ritchie Murphy for the 10 jersey but all I cared about was the Rock man getting picked.

My SOB story is from the 09 final and drinking in Ryan’s pub on the morning of it in Edinburgh and there were this group of well oiled men, after getting chatting to them they had traveled from Tullow and had come on the ferry and been up all night and the pride they had in talking about SOB it was just feckin brilliant and we had seen enough that season to realize he was going to be special.

He definitely appealed to the masses and has helped our club and culture grow and unite, long may that continue.


Yep- for a time there, Seanie made Carlow sexy! No offence- but that’s not easy...


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Re: Sean O Brien

Postby blockhead » May 28th, 2019, 10:11 am

artaneboy wrote:Yep- for a time there, Seanie made Carlow sexy! No offence- but that’s not easy...
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Re: Sean O Brien

Postby Dave Cahill » May 28th, 2019, 10:32 am

blockhead wrote:
artaneboy wrote:Yep- for a time there, Seanie made Carlow sexy! No offence- but that’s not easy...
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Once again Bernard (The Original Tullow Tank) Jackman is ingored and forgotten. Shame.



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Re: Sean O Brien

Postby wixfjord » May 28th, 2019, 10:55 am

Aye I believe he's actually technically a Wicklow man...
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Re: Sean O Brien

Postby Edna Kenny » May 28th, 2019, 11:39 am

Given how highly SOB and Isa are spoken of in terms of their influence on standards and contribution to meetings etc, even when not playing, do we know who are the future standard drivers within the squad? Clearly Sexton is one, but who else from the group will take up the mantle?
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Re: Sean O Brien

Postby wixfjord » May 28th, 2019, 11:50 am

Edna Kenny wrote:Given how highly SOB and Isa are spoken of in terms of their influence on standards and contribution to meetings etc, even when not playing, do we know who are the future standard drivers within the squad? Clearly Sexton is one, but who else from the group will take up the mantle?


JVDF certainly sounds like one.

The likes of Ruddock, Molony, McGrath, Ryan would all strike me as good guys to push things on too.

We are looking a wee bit light on outside back 'leadership' when RK retires though.
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Re: Sean O Brien

Postby Peg Leg » May 28th, 2019, 11:52 am

Not liking the social media whispers RE: Seanie's send off.
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Re: Sean O Brien

Postby arsebiscuits1 » May 28th, 2019, 12:13 pm

Peg Leg wrote:Not liking the social media whispers RE: Seanie's send off.


Ewan McKennas whispers??

That fella can take a long walk on a short pier
He's gotten awfully fond of that brick
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Re: Sean O Brien

Postby hugonaut » May 28th, 2019, 1:20 pm

Edna Kenny wrote:Given how highly SOB and Isa are spoken of in terms of their influence on standards and contribution to meetings etc, even when not playing, do we know who are the future standard drivers within the squad? Clearly Sexton is one, but who else from the group will take up the mantle?


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