Rugby Union

Auckland Blues coach Umaga thinks many will never forget 'spear tackle' on O'Driscoll

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On Wednesday June 7, the British and Irish Lions will face Tana Umaga's Super Rugby side the Auckland Blues in their second Test of 10.

The Test follows a 13-7 win for the Lions against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians.

Ahead of the match, attention has been turned to coach Tana Umaga, who 12 years ago, alongside then-team mate Kevin Mealamu, participated in what many call a 'spear tackle' on Lions Brian O'Driscoll.

This is the motion of picking someone up by the legs and driving their head into the ground. It is an immensely dangerous and illegal tackle.

The RFU and fans were angered more at the time by a lack of retrospective punishment.

Furthermore, a lack of remorse in Umaga's autobiography fuelled a hatred from Lions fans.

Umaga calls O'Driscoll a cry baby for not getting over the tackle and complaining that he never received an apology.

The tackle and the nature of it, even 12 years on, puts a little bit of a dark cloud over the Lions tour as it apparent that the spear tackle incident is still fresh on many fans minds.

But, the Auckland Blues coach, in an attempt to shift the focus back on to the clash on Wednesday, claimed: "If people haven't put it behind them, they never will."

You can see the controversial incident in the video below.

As you can tell, O'Driscoll was a very lucky man to walk away with just a dislocated shoulder, and not a broken neck.

Despite the fact that nobody can condone the spear tackle in any situation, Umaga has made it clear that the focus should be on the match itself and not a controversial tackle that happened a long time ago.

He added: "It's not about that time right now."

Umaga's focus, as the Lions' should be, is on Wednesday's clash, although, hopefully we never see a repeat of the spear tackle ever again.

Ahead of the clash on Wednesday, the Blues will present a special type of haka which Umaga believes symbolises all the different cultures that have come together in the Auckland Blues squad.

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England Rugby
Six Nations
Wales Rugby
British & Irish Lions
Ireland Rugby
Brian O'Driscoll
New Zeland Rugby
IRB Rugby World Cup
Rugby Union
Scotland Rugby

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