Click here for photos of Sunday’s RBS 6 Nations clash between Ireland and Wales at Lansdowne Road.
Pictured above: Ireland centre and captain Brian O’Driscoll is tackled by Welsh try scorer Mark Jones at Lansdowne Road. O’Driscoll, who was leading his country to a 19th win in 25 Tests as skipper, said afterwards: “It (The championship) is there for the team that puts it hand up now.
“All you can do is play as well as you can and you’re silly if you look ahead of the next game. I’d like to think there’s more in us and fingers crossed that the confidence we take from this result will enable us to do that.”
England, France, Ireland and Scotland all sit on four points – thanks to two wins a one defeat each – after the first three weekends in the 2006 RBS 6 Nations. Eddie O’Sullivan’s side are ranked in third currently on points difference.
Ireland lock Donncha O’Callaghan, who deputised for his injured Munster team mate Paul O’Connell, takes a hit from Welsh hooker Rhys Thomas. Sunday’s Test marked O’Callaghan’s first 6 Nations start since March 2004 (v Italy).
Ireland number 8 Denis Leamy claims a lineout. The 24-year-old Tipperary man has now started in each of Ireland’s last seven Test matches, including the second Test win over Japan in Tokyo last June and the three autumn internationals.
Gordon D’Arcy tries to get past the challenges of Dwayne Peel and Gethin Jenkins.
Ireland prop Marcus Horan lays injured having shipping a heavy tackle from Gethin Jenkins after 68 minutes at Lansdowne Road. The injury delayed the match for several minutes as Horan was stretchered off in a neck brace. Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan explained: “Marcus got a knock on his neck and at the time he felt a crack.
“We took all the right precautions and got him off the pitch, which often looks worse than it is. But he’s been given the all clear. The word we’ve been given is that he will be fine and he can move around normally, although he went for an X-ray to be on the safe side.
“I have no problems with the incident. I know Gethin Jenkins. He’s a good lad and would never do anything intentionally. It was unfortunate – he was trying to clear the ruck and happened to hit Marcus down on the head with his shoulder. It could happen to anybody and there was no malice.”
Marcus Horan is carried off at Lansdowne Road.
**All photos by Andrew Paton, Billy Stickland and Morgan Treacy of Inpho Photography**