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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 October 2005, 19:26 GMT 20:26 UK
No action on new O'Driscoll video
By Mark Orlovac and Jim Stokes

Brian O'Driscoll leaves the field after suffering the shoulder injury
Tana Umaga and Keven Mealamu will not be punished for their controversial tackle on Brian O'Driscoll despite dramatic new video footage.

Amateur pictures clearly show the Lions skipper being picked up and dumped to the ground during the opening seconds of the first Test against New Zealand.

But the International Rugby Board says it is too late to take any action.

"There are no retrospective penalties in the game's regulations," the IRB's Greg Thomas told BBC Sport.

O'Driscoll, who dislocated his shoulder in the incident, has always claimed he was the victim of a 'spear' tackle.

But both Umaga and Mealamu escaped punishment because the incident was not picked up by the match referee.

We are of the opinion that dangerous tackles like this have no part in the game
Greg Thomas
IRB communications manager

A furious Lions management tried to take the matter further only for the citing commissioner to rule that the two players had no case to answer.

And despite new video footage of the incident, the IRB say the matter is closed, although they insist the issue of dangerous tackles will be discussed at a referees' workshop next month.

"There was a citing officer who had a look at the incident at the time but he had very inconclusive evidence," said Thomas.

"If you watch television, it was very, very hard to get an exact idea of what happened and this footage was not available.

"But now we have seen this footage - and we have also been monitoring the sport - we are of the opinion that dangerous tackles like this have no part in the game."

Lions doctor Gary O'Driscoll, cousin of Lions captain Brian, was pitchside when the incident happened.

There will be no recriminations now, but we cannot allow it to happen again
Lions doctor Gary O'Driscoll

He had already seen the video footage before it was made public by Sky Sports on Tuesday and has even used it in his lectures.

"Everybody was surprised at the time that there was nothing done to the New Zealand players, but this video was not available at the time," he told BBC Sport.

"If it was, possibly there would have been something done.

"When you look at the video you have to say that Brian was very, very lucky. He could have easily broken his neck.

"Spear tackles of this nature are banned in rugby league and in American football.

"The video leaves nobody in any doubt whatsoever that they have to be banned in rugby union as well.

I think we need to move on... there was no intention to hurt anybody in that incident
Graham Henry
All Blacks coach

"There will be no recriminations now, but we cannot allow it to happen again."

O'Driscoll will miss Ireland's match at home to New Zealand on 12 November while he continues his recovery.

But New Zealand coach Graham Henry hopes the incident will not be a factor when the two sides meet at Lansdowne Road.

"I think we need to move on. There was no intention to hurt anybody in that incident," insisted the All Blacks coach.

"I hope Brian has moved on. There was no intention to hurt Brian and I am sure he realises that."



SEE ALSO
O'Driscoll reveals Lions anguish
25 Oct 05 |  Internationals
O'Driscoll 'gouge' stunned Henson
16 Oct 05 |  Internationals
Irish ready for O'Driscoll fight
21 Sep 05 |  Internationals
O'Driscoll content with recovery
31 Aug 05 |  Internationals
O'Driscoll may make autumn Tests
03 Aug 05 |  Internationals
Former Lion bemoans 2005 training
24 Jul 05 |  Internationals
Dallaglio hits out at All Blacks
22 Jul 05 |  Internationals
O'Driscoll begins road to fitness
16 Jul 05 |  Internationals
Umaga yet to apologise for tackle
30 Jun 05 |  Internationals
Henry defends duo over O'Driscoll
28 Jun 05 |  Internationals
O'Driscoll fumes at 'cheap shot'
25 Jun 05 |  Internationals
New Zealand 21-3 Lions
25 Jun 05 |  Internationals


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