Video: Irish rugby star puts Ryan Tubridy to shame in ploughing contest

Irish rugby star Sean O’Brien put Ryan Tubridy to shame in a ploughing contest on The Late Late Show, in front of the queen of the ploughing herself, Anna May McHugh.

The challenge was organised in the lead up to next week’s National Ploughing Championships – the 3-day event which will begin on Tuesday, September 19, in Screggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly.

McHugh, who is the Managing Director of the National Ploughing Association (NPA), appeared on the flagship TV programme to discuss her new book.

Entitled ‘Queen of the Ploughing’, the book traces her 66-yearlong involvement with the NPA.

During her TV appearance, McHugh officiated as Tubridy took on one of Ireland’s back row rugby players, Sean O’Brien from Co. Carlow, in a ploughing contest.

Under lights, both men waited for McHugh’s go ahead before taking off and ploughing a short stretch of ground.

With judges favouring quality over speed, both competitors realised quite quickly who the winner was going to be once the tractors came to a halt.

O’Brien, who is affectionately known as the ‘Tullow Tank’, was empathetic with the TV show presenter after the contest, claiming he “panicked” which caused him to make mistakes.

Describing Tubridy’s effort, McHugh said: “You’re slightly crooked there now; it’s nearly like a banana. There’s a bit of twist at the top.”

However, O’Brien’s effort was much straighter – which Tubridy put down to his years of experience.

There was a small bit of controversy, McHugh seemed to massage the judge’s scores a little bit in order to save Tubridy’s blushes. Ultimately, O’Brien still took home the ‘King of the Plough’ trophy for 2017.