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Sexton's last-gasp drop goal against France voted most memorable Irish sporting moment of 2018

And Ireland’s win over the All Blacks was the greatest Irish sporting achievement.

WHAT WAS YOUR most memorable Irish sporting moment from the past year?

In one annual survey, Johnny Sexton’s winning drop goal in the Six Nations clash against France in February has come out on top.

Johnny Sexton kicks the winning drop goal Johnny Sexton kicks the winning drop goal in Paris. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The score received 31% of the vote in the annual Teneo Sports’ Sponsorship Index.

The women’s hockey team’s win on penalties against Spain in the World Cup semi-final is second on 21%, followed by Conor McGregor tapping out to Khabib Nurmagomedov on 15% and Jacob Stockdale’s try against New Zealand on 13%.

Ireland celebrate winning the shoot out Ireland celebrate winning the semi-final shoot out. Source: Sandra Mailer/INPHO

The greatest Irish sporting achievement was voted as Ireland’s win over the All Blacks (40%), Ireland’s Grand Slam victory (15%), Ireland’s second place finish at the Women’s Hockey World Cup (7%), Limerick’s All-Ireland hurling win (5%) and Katie Taylor retaining her WBA lightweight world title (5%). 

Katie Taylor celebrates her victory Katie Taylor celebrates her latest victory. Source: Tom Hogan/INPHO

Declan Hannon and manager John Kiely celebrate with the Liam MacCarthy Declan Hannon and manager John Kiely celebrate with the Liam MacCarthy. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Gaelic Games surpassed soccer as Ireland’s favourite sport with 21% of the vote, Katie Taylor retained her place as Ireland’s most admired sports star after claiming 19% of the votes and the Rugby World Cup (26%) is the sports event most people are looking forward to in 2019.

The Ireland men’s rugby side (43%) beat the Ireland hockey women’s team (17%) to the title of the team of the year. 

CJ Stander and Josh van der Flier tackle Richie Mo'unga Ireland defeated New Zealand in November. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

“2018 really was a remarkable year for Irish sport,” stated Kelli O’Keeffe, MD of Teneo Sports.

“We’ve seen everything from a rugby Grand Slam, to world championship golds in boxing and rowing, to success on the athletics track and a World Cup final appearance by an Irish team. There was undoubtedly an abundance of highlights to get the Irish public talking at international level.

“This was the same at national level where we’ve seen a four-in-a-row for Jim Gavin’s Dubs, a breakthrough win for Limerick, a record-breaking crowd for the Dublin ladies success, Cork dominating camogie and a double by Dundalk.

“As may have been expected, rugby and hockey figure prominently throughout the results of this, the ninth Teneo Sport and Sponsorship Index. Joe Schmidt’s team and Graham Shaw’s side certainly captured the imagination with their outstanding performances.

“To see a team who reached a World Cup final not getting the nod as Team of the Year just shows the impact rugby had on the public consciousness throughout 2018.

“It should also be borne in mind that the research was carried out in the immediate aftermath of the November internationals so the win against the All Blacks would have been very fresh in people’s minds.

“The excitement generated by a revamped hurling championship will certainly also have boosted the popularity of Gaelic Games in 2018 and people are really looking forward to the All-Ireland Championships next year. Not surprisingly though, given the successes enjoyed by our rugby team this year we’re excited to see what they can achieve in Japan.

“The impact of women in sport throughout 2018 is also clearly visible in the findings. Katie Taylor’s popularity endures but now there is a much broader representation of female sport in the findings and that reflects what we are seeing in terms of coverage and interest.

“The findings always cause plenty of debate and that’s the beauty of sport! The TSSI provides a snapshot of the general public’s views on the sporting year that was and the sporting year to come. Let’s hope 2019 can be every bit if not even more successful for Irish sport.”

unnamed Source: Teneo

The Teneo Sports’ Sponsorship Index is a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults carried out between 30 November and 7 December.

Here are some of the key findings (top 5 only):

What is your team of the year?

  • Ireland rugby (men) 43%
  • Ireland hockey (women) 17%
  • Limerick hurlers 8%
  • Dublin footballers 6%
  • Dundalk FC 5%
  • Ireland rowing 5%

Which of the following sports stars do you most admire?

  • Katie Taylor 19%
  • Johnny Sexton 11%
  • O’Donovan brothers 10%
  • Peter O’Mahony 6%
  • Conor Murray 4%  

What was the most memorable Irish sporting moment of 2018?

  • Johnny Sexton’s drop goal vs France 31%
  • Women’s hockey penalty shoot-out vs Spain 21%
  • Conor McGregor tapping out vs Nurmagomedov 15%
  • Jacob Stockdale’s try vs New Zealand 13%
  • Nickie Quaid’s save for Limerick vs Cork 6%

What was the greatest Irish sporting achievement of 2018? 

  • Ireland’s win vs All Blacks 40%
  • Ireland winning the Grand Slam 15%
  • Ireland hockey winning silver at World Cup 7%
  • Limerick’s All-Ireland hurling victory 5%
  • Katie Taylor retaining WBA lightweight world title 5%

What are you most looking forward to in 2019?

  • Rugby World Cup 26%
  • All-Ireland senior inter-county championships 19%
  • Six Nations 11%
  • Euro 2020 Qualifiers 10%
  • UEFA Champions League 7%

What is your favourite sport? 

  • Gaelic Games 21%
  • Soccer 19%
  • Rugby 14%
  • Golf 3%
  • Athletics 3%

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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