Steve Hansen On The Infamous Brian O’Driscoll Spear Tackle & How It Helped The All Blacks

Steve Hansen believes that the Lions played their hand so badly over the Brian O’Driscoll injury in 2005 that they actually assisted the All Blacks.

Just 41 seconds into the 1st Test back in 2005, O’Driscoll was taken out as a result of a sickening act by two men- Tana Umaga and Kevin Mealamu. The ball was nowhere to be seen as O’Driscoll was lifted up above the horizontal and driven into the turf.

Hansen however still believes there was no intent to hurt the Lions captain and says how the Lions reacted and dealt with the incident, helped spur on the All Blacks.

“The one thing that helped us was everyone attacking Tana Umaga over what happened with Brian,” Hansen told The Times.
“I don’t think there was any intent and, yes, in today’s game, I think both of them would have got cited,”
“But it’s not their fault that they didn’t and there certainly wasn’t any intent to hurt Brian. How Tana was taken to really ignited our team to get stronger and support him and that helped us win the series. The Lions losing O’Driscoll certainly galvanised us.”

The All Blacks went on to win that series 3-0, but the tour is still marred to this day by that infamous spear.

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Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor at RugbyLAD. Any queries big or small you can reach him at [email protected]

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