THERE’LL BE A FEW more tid-bits coming down the wires over the next day or so, but the big stories of 2013 have already been and gone.
From January’s hope of a Grand Slam for Deccie to December’s head-scratching over how we let Australia have the run of Lansdowne Road, here’s how the year looked in quote-marks.
Be sure to tell us which golden snippets you’d have at the top of your list.
“It’s like a piece of toothpaste coming out of an onion and that normally hits the nerve and causes you pain.”
“It’s a bit like the old schoolboy excuse that the dog ate my homework,”
“It’s a great movie. Some of the acting in it probably isn’t great. If Pele’s available, he’s more than welcome. Although, we didn’t kick tonight so he may not have been much use to us.”
– Joe Schmidt ponders The Great Escape (that never was) from Leinster’s Heineken Cup pool.
“Obviously he’d be very disappointed, Brian has always told you what an honour it is to captain Ireland and that will never change.”
“It wasn’t a whole lot different – you have to give a little speech at the after-match function, which is kind of funny.”
“You can’t rush the human body sometimes”
“I don’t know what he will do but if I was Jonny, having the possibility of playing for Joe Schmidt, for Leinster, for Ireland, I think there’s not enough money to go against that.”
“If you have a spare few pounds, I wouldn’t recommend you to put it on me for first try-scorer.”
“You don’t really think too much about these things. It’s probably just a bit of instinct.”
“I said, ‘this weekend it’d take a coach with balls to pick me, Deccie’ and I said it to his face”
“Whenever you lose, you want to lace up your boots and get back on the field. Get working hard.There’s a lot of mental demons, head maggots, going on.”
‘A spontaneous act born out of frustration’
“I don’t think we have seen the last of him yet.”
– Maxine Medard on you know who.
“I’ll sleep on it until the end of the season and we’ll see what goes on…. It’d be hard to leave this beauty here next to me.”
“Footy’s a dynamic game. From our perspective (O’Connell has) absolutely nothing to answer for.”
“I’ve no problem speaking volumes about Paul O’Connell as a person, as a player. I think he’s a superb man and a superb player. But I think what we’ve created is a dangerous baseline; when someone can be kicked unconscious on the ground and it not even be brought to the judiciary.”
“I Hope you two are not sharing a room on the tour”
“Leaving Leinster, it will be tough to leave my friends, my home and my home team but it would also be tough to leave Joe as a coach – a big regret.”
“The more I’m talking, the more I’m thinking: why the hell am I leaving?”
“He’s beef I’m cattle…”
“I’m rooming with him this week so he might have a broken leg.”
“I’m more shocked than you are.”
“The Lions is about having the best quality from these islands. Not having an intransigent game-plan, low on subtlety, but simplistic from the start.”
“The Irish have a saying, ‘he’s a bit of a Mé Féiner’, and that sums him up.”
- Gatty still has the grenades to fire back.
“We felt at the time that if Jamie and Jon had been fit for the first Test that probably would have been the combination we went for.”
“This is never about one person; other guys that are in the 23 have to be able to get on with the job and worry about that themselves. It was a disappointment but it’s the guys that don’t make the 23 that make or break the tour. You can’t mouth words and then not live them when it’s your turn.”
He said ‘ROG, I’m going to go to the Irish team and I’m going to come back and I’m not going to get my place with Racing.’
- O’Gara points out that he sill makes Sexton look over his shoulder.
“Allez, Antoine… That’s the fuckin’ stuff’.”
- ROG uses the full range of his language on the Racing sideline.
“Revenge is a nebulous concept”
“In the professional era we’re somewhat guinea pigs because we haven’t had the progression of people going through their careers and getting to old age.
“We don’t know the down side to the escalating collisions.”
“I’m not stepping in to Dan Carter’s shoes, I wear my own”
“David ran to Goliath”
“If there’s ever an Irish team that is capable of doing it, that I’ve been on, I think it’s this one.”
- Paul O’Connell looks at the All Blacks and licks his lips.
“It’s just a Haka. It’s something I loved as a kid and I hate it now.”
“It’s really tough to take. Four weeks’ work. It was a game that, of the three it was the one we wanted. It’s the one, I feel, that we were certainly up for.”
Press Association Images
“Yeah, I’d say I am angry. We should have trusted each other in the last couple of minutes – I’d say a lot of the lads are angry at the way it finished.”
“Apologies for messing around on Lions photo,”
Lions at Number 10 image via Press Association Images. All others ©INPHO