Umaga, O'Driscoll bury hatchet

2013-03-20 12:18
Brian O'Driscoll (File)

Hong Kong - Ex-All Blacks captain Tana Umaga on Wednesday said he'd made peace with Brian O'Driscoll over his infamous 2005 Lions tour spear tackle - but suggested the row was overplayed by British spin doctors.

The New Zealand great said he'd "buried the hatchet" with Ireland's O'Driscoll, the then Lions captain whose tour ended when he was picked up and dumped head-first to the deck just seconds into the first Test.

"As you can see he obviously got over it, he's back playing," said Umaga, who carried out the tackle with team-mate Keven Mealamu, dislocating the Irish centre's shoulder.

"We've buried the hatchet. We've spoken a couple of times and have bumped into each other," added the 39-year-old, during a coaching stint at the Hong Kong Tens rugby tournament.

The tackle sparked a war of words between the New Zealanders and the Lions, with O'Driscoll calling it a "cheap shot" and reportedly complaining about Umaga's lack of apology at the time.

An independent citing commissioner ruled that the All Black pair had no case to answer, further angering O'Driscoll and then Lions coach Clive Woodward.

Some commentators in New Zealand suggested that the Lions camp was trying to divert attention from the side's poor performance in New Zealand, where they lost all three Tests against the rampant home side.

"We moved on, obviously (we) did very well in that series and it (the row) is a bit disappointing, but it's obviously what they wanted to achieve," Umaga said.

"They probably wanted something to override their disappointing performance over there."

O'Driscoll is in disciplinary hot water of his own this week as he is facing a citing hearing on Wednesday for stamping on Simone Favaro in Ireland's 22-15 Six Nations defeat by Italy.

The 34-year-old was playing what is thought to have been his last game for Ireland. He is tipped to announce his international retirement after this year's Lions tour to Australia.

Saturday's yellow card was only the second of a glittering 14-year career, including 125 caps for Ireland.

Read more on:    brian o'driscoll  |  rugby

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

SA Rugby's coaching indaba is set to take place this week. Do you think the two-day think-tank will make any difference?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.