Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 July 2015

injury-hit Best set to miss out on Ireland glory bid

By Hugh Farrelly

Published 03/10/2011 | 08:00

DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02:  Rory Best of Ireland (R) winces in pain as he receives medical treatment during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Rory Best of Ireland (R) winces in pain as he receives medical treatment during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Birthday boy Keith Earls of Ireland dives over to score a try during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Sean O'Brien of Ireland is tackled during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Jonathan Sexton of Ireland kicks a penalty during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
An Ireland fan in the stands during the IRB Rugby World Cup match at the Otago Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 2, 2011. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS Use subject to restrictions. Editorial reporting purposes only; no images to be used to simulate a moving image. Commercial including Book use only with prior written approval. Call +44 (0) 1158 447447 or see www.pressassociation.com/images/restrictions.
Italy fans in the stands during the IRB Rugby World Cup match at the Otago Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 2, 2011. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS Use subject to restrictions. Editorial reporting purposes only; no images to be used to simulate a moving image. Commercial including Book use only with prior written approval. Call +44 (0) 1158 447447 or see www.pressassociation.com/images/restrictions.
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll celebrates scoring a try with Ronan O'Gara (left) during the IRB Rugby World Cup match at the Otago Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 2, 2011. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS Use subject to restrictions. Editorial reporting purposes only; no images to be used to simulate a moving image. Commercial including Book use only with prior written approval. Call +44 (0) 1158 447447 or see www.pressassociation.com/images/restrictions.
Ireland's Paul O'Connell gets tackled by Italy's Paul Derbyshire during the IRB Rugby World Cup match at the Otago Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 2, 2011. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS Use subject to restrictions. Editorial reporting purposes only; no images to be used to simulate a moving image. Commercial including Book use only with prior written approval. Call +44 (0) 1158 447447 or see www.pressassociation.com/images/restrictions.
Ireland's Sean O'Brien tries to break through the Italy defence during the IRB Rugby World Cup match at the Otago Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 2, 2011. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS Use subject to restrictions. Editorial reporting purposes only; no images to be used to simulate a moving image. Commercial including Book use only with prior written approval. Call +44 (0) 1158 447447 or see www.pressassociation.com/images/restrictions.
Donncha O'Callaghan
Ireland fans in the stands during the IRB Rugby World Cup match at the Otago Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 2, 2011. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS Use subject to restrictions. Editorial reporting purposes only; no images to be used to simulate a moving image. Commercial including Book use only with prior written approval. Call +44 (0) 1158 447447 or see www.pressassociation.com/images/restrictions.
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll kicks through as Italy's Gonzalo Garcia (right) attempts to block during the IRB Rugby World Cup match at the Otago Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 2, 2011. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS Use subject to restrictions. Editorial reporting purposes only; no images to be used to simulate a moving image. Commercial including Book use only with prior written approval. Call +44 (0) 1158 447447 or see www.pressassociation.com/images/restrictions.
Ireland fans in the stands wearing fancy dress during the IRB Rugby World Cup match at the Otago Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 2, 2011. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit should read: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS Use subject to restrictions. Editorial reporting purposes only; no images to be used to simulate a moving image. Commercial including Book use only with prior written approval. Call +44 (0) 1158 447447 or see www.pressassociation.com/images/restrictions.
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Paul O'Connell of Ireland looks on as players prepare to scrum during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Gordon D'Arcy of Ireland (C) is tackled by Fabio Semenzato of Italy during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Brian OÄôDriscoll of Ireland celebrates scoring a try during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Brian OÄôDriscoll of Ireland is congratulated by his team mates as he celebrates scoring a try during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Brian OÄôDriscoll of Ireland scores a try during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland is congratulated by teammates after he scores their first try, as Tommaso Benvenuti of Italy shows his dejection during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland (2R) is congratulated by teammates Rob Kearney (3R) and Donncha OÄôCallaghan (L) after he scores their first try during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Tommy Bowe of Ireland (R) offloads the ball as he is tackled by Riccardo Bocchino of Italy during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Sergio Parisse of Italy (down) is tackled by Conor Murray (L) and Mike Ross of Ireland during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Gordon D'Arcy of Ireland (2L) is tackled by Salvatore Perugini of Italy during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Keith Earls of Ireland scores a try during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Conor Murray of Ireland makes an attacking run during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Gordon DÄôArcy of Ireland makes a break during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: An Ireland fan enjoys the atmosphere ahead of the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: A lone Italian fan enjoys the atmosphere ahead of the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: (L-R) Mirco Bergamasco, Mauro Bergamasco and Tommaso Benvenuti of Italy sing their national anthem ahead of the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Martin Castrogiovanni of Italy receives medical attention during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Ronan OÄôGara of Ireland kicks a penalty during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Ronan OÄôGara of Ireland tries to break from the challenge of Sergio Parisse of Italy during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Referee Jonathan Kaplan (R) talks with Paul OÄôConnell of Ireland during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Alessandro Zanni of Italy (L) tries to break past Keith Earls of Ireland during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Gordon DÄôArcy of Ireland (C) cleashes with Gonzalo Canale of Italy during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Martin Castrogiovanni of Italy looks on during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Paul OÄôConnell of Ireland (C) eyes the ball during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 02: Luciano Orquera of Italy kicks the ball clear during the IRB Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Ireland and Italy at Dunedin Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Ireland hero Rory Best's Rugby World Cup could be over after the Ulster hooker suffered what appeared to be a serious collar-bone injury during yesterday's 36-6 win over Italy to set up a quarter-final clash with Wales in Wellington on Saturday.

Best went for a scan after the match with an update due today but if the Co Armagh man has broken his collar bone, the recovery period could take up to three months.

It would be a devastating blow for the 29-year-old who has been in superb form and a serious one for the Ireland squad who have already lost Jerry Flannery to injury.

Judging by Best's distraught demeanour leaving the field, the news today is unlikely to be good and it will be a blow for Ulster, too if Best is now to miss half their season.

Also marring the contest was Leonardo Ghiraldini's attempted eye-gouge on Cian Healy, an incident that was missed by referee Jonathan Kaplan but will surely lead to sanctions against Italy.

Victorious Ireland coach Declan Kidney is now relishing the prospect of another knockout match against the Welsh.

“It will be like a Six Nations game because the players know each other so well, space will be cut down,” he said. “It will be like a cup final. That's what this competition is all about and thankfully we've qualified for another one.”

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