“Parks, to a crescendo of boos, kicks his penalty.”
Thus went Ryle Nugent’s commentary on the Scot Dan’s crucial three-pointer towards the end of Saturday’s final rugby fixture in Croke Park (or at least ’til there’s a clamour for tens of thousands of unavailable tickets for some major union international in Dublin).
That Irish fans decided to jeer the naturalised Australian for apparently (and utterly understandably) taking his time over the placed ball — albeit no longer than Johnny Sexton had with any of his efforts — was not just bad sportsmanship but counter-productive to boot. The majority of kickers find it’s a lot less pressurised shooting against a wall of noise than the lonely sound of silence. Just ask Johnny. Especially with the still more reliable Ronan O’Gara lurking in the wings.