'Out goes the sledge, in comes the vice': It's the rugby quotes of the year

From rogue emails to World Cup shocks and beyond.

IT WAS A year of triumph and tearful farewells, magic and mistakes; but most of all it was another year where we were hanging on the words of people in and around elite level rugby in Ireland.

Devin Toner Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

Here’s a few lines that we’ll hear echoing into 2015.

“Inevitably we are human and there are emotional highs and lows and you don’t want to have a trough at all during the Six Nations. Can you win a game and mix a really highly emotive performance with a highly accurate performance?

“I think that is what you are looking for. If you are trying to survive purely on passion, you are inevitably going to make errors at times, you are going to be over-anxious, over-eager and maybe fall on the wrong side of the referee.”

Joe Schmidt makes it clear that passion won’t be enough to get in his team before the Six Nations.

“I’d never be happy. I think there is always something we can improve on and so, without being too grumpy or negative I think we are in a reasonably good place.”

– That man again, trying to keep his pokerface up before taking Ireland to a Championship.

Joe Schmidt poses for a photo with some fans Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

“The only reason I came back from the neck injury was because I felt very unfulfilled with how my career had gone.” – Luke Fitzgerald.

“You always go into a game of rugby wanting it, so to hear those comments is quite frustrating. Each one of us wanted it, we just weren’t good enough.”

Jamie Roberts responds to Peter O’Mahony after Ireland beat Wales.

“I might give him a hug, as long as it doesn’t get too awkward. We wouldn’t really be huggers really; it’s more of a high five or a handshake but we’ll see what happens.”

Paul O’Connell predicts how he’ll say goodbye to Brian O’Driscoll.

“Thank you, Brian” — Pretty much everyone.

adidasrugbytv / YouTube

“Certain attitudes on the pitch vis-à-vis the match officials that have have no place in our sport. Respect is the foundation of our values. It is important to send a signal to all of the players and remind them that having the privilege of wearing the France jersey demands certain duties and obligations.”

- Philippe Saint Andre explains why he dropped Louis Picamoles.

RBS 6 Nations / YouTube

“I am very proud to be able to play against Brian O’Driscoll for his last game. I have never faced him before.” - Gael Fickou

“Out goes the sledge and in comes the vice”-  Mike Ross grits his teeth before taking on France in Paris.

“We don’t have to go in with mad, aggressive heads, trying to beat people up. It’s all about being accurate and being ‘on the ball’ all the time.” — Cian Healy

“Christ, here we go again.” — Rob Kearney’s thoughts as a France score is sent to the TMO.

“The fairytale continued right until the end for the magic man.” – Schmidt on O’Driscoll’s crowing moment.

“I was walking round the field a bit disappointed with the last 10 minutes, we would have like to have closed it out better than we did,”

Paul O’Connell after sealing his second Six Nations title.

“There’s no telling how far this team can go… I think there’s a lot more to come from this group of players.” – Chris Henry post Paris.

“They’re incredibly professional in everything they do – apart from right now. I don’t think they’re being professional at this exact moment!”

- Schmidt was content enough to let standards slip for one night.

“‘You’re gonna have to be dragged off the pitch’”

– Tommy Bowe on the half-time message when Ulster were facing Saracens with 14 men.

“It’s going to haunt us for the rest of our lives because that’s a massive one that got away from us.”- Johann Muller

“I think this was probably one of the best opportunities we’re ever going to have,” — Tommy Bowe on Ulster’s prospects of winning a European trophy.

“We had chances last year to win and we didn’t take them and it’s the same this year. We can’t keep doing this to ourselves every year. We want to be competing for silverware and semi-finals aren’t good enough for Munster Rugby.”

– Simon Zebo finds little consolation after Munster run Toulon close

“It doesn’t bother me too much, I’d say everyone else is fed up of it… ”

– O’Driscoll talks about the never-ending attention trained on his long goodbye.

Ian Madigan and Cian Healy carry Brian O'Driscoll after the game James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

“I always said you can’t plan anything in this game; what happens, happens and you’ve got to roll with the punches. It wasn’t a good day for me in the end, only getting eight minutes, but this [the celebrations] is what it is all about.”

– BOD takes the injury that ended his final match on the chin.

“He might have been concussed actually. No, I think he was concussed. Write that bastard up.”

By the end of the season, Leinster coach Matt O’Connor evidently had felt he had answered enough questions about Brian O’Driscoll and concussion.

Tania Rosser and Grace Davitt Tania Rosser and Grace Davitt hit the gym during the World Cup. Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

“Back home, there are kids in the changing rooms before and after matches — men’s and women’s. Having children and getting back to sport is a given in New Zealand but not so much here.”

– Ireland’s brilliant naturalised international half-back Tania Rosser shrugs at being the only player in the squad with children.

“We’re without doubt far more powerful. Basically, we’re fitter, stronger, faster. These girls are now as good as full-time athletes. They’re amateur but what they do during the week is exceptional.”

Ireland Women’s head coach Philip Doyle fired a warning shot ahead of the World Cup. 

Sean Farrell / YouTube

“We knew we had them, so it was just a matter of being patient and letting it come because we were all over them.”

– Alison Miller after Ireland shocked New Zealand at the World Cup.

“They’re top of the world, that’s where we said we wanted to be. We’re not there yet, it’s only step two of the process but we’re on the right track.”

Captain Fiona Coghlan wasn’t getting carried away despite beating the ‘unbeatable’.

“I suppose we could have panicked, but that’s not part of us.” – Miller again.

“If you go into the IRFU with a Kango hammer, you’ll just get bounced out. I like to think I went in there to chop down a tree with a tooth pick. I just chipped away, chipped away and eventually that tree just slightly bends. It hasn’t fallen over yet, but it’s getting there.”

Philip Doyle on attempting to change attitudes to women’s rugby in the IRFU.

Anthony Foley Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

“It is a simple, rolling document that is updated from time to time and the information is usually dealt with between the individual and coaching staff. I don’t see it as a funny issue.”

- Munster CEO Garret Fitzgerald wasn’t laughing after Munster’s leaked email.

“This is a clear reminder that there are people out there that want to get you, want to see you fail. That is me as an individual and us as a team. There are people out there who have that in their mind. It is great going into the season knowing that.”

– Anthony Foley battens down the hatches at Thomond Park.

Paul O'Connell and Joe Schmidt Colm O'Neill / INPHO Colm O'Neill / INPHO / INPHO

“It was going to be a new pairing no matter what happened and we decided to go with the pairing that we had the most time to work with.”

Joe Schmidt on the decision to pick Robbie Henshaw and Jared Payne in the centre.

“That’s it. That’s how I am. I am not fake. If I hate you, I say in your face and I will never speak to you again. Love me or hate me. I don’t hate anyone. Peace and love. I just don’t like cunts.”

Martin Castrogiovanni fell out with Richard Cockerill.

“Let’s just say I’m really impressed by Jackie’s vision.”

Dan Carter is already mentally blowing a heap of Jackie Lorenzetti’s money.

Originally published at 1456

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