Yesterday in a City high on that winning feeling a team came to try and overturn another Century old record. This team came on the back of a highly emotional month in which the loss of of their own hit hard, really hard. After an awful rendition of Irelands Call, A Haka brilliantly answered by a number 8 off we went. The real shame of it is the National Broadcaster count not air the game but the Minister for Sport gets to go. Meanwhile many people who really follow Rugby are reduced to following it on Twitter.
On the pitch Ireland despite the French Referee not seeing when a card should be red. The Irish were so disciplined, so focused, they did the simple things right and they took the very best of their game to the All Blacks. They played as a team, a team of stars. CJ Sander was stunning. At 15 the much talked about Rob Kearney was brilliant in the air as was the flying Simon Zebo. The work rate of McGrath, Best, Tonner and Furlong was 100%. The Munster factor stood out as Connor Murray played the game of his life as did Jamie Heaslip. Robbie Henshaw did not let Moody’s take take his game away and he planned a blinder. They drove, the mauled they scored, Sexton kicked and managed, they kept cool heads even at the start of the second half when the All blacks scored. Joe Schmidt deserves huge praise of his game plan and as Neil Francis writes today in the Irish Independent we now know for certain, Joe Schmidt is the best coach in the World. Ireland’s Strength and Conditioning Coach deserves huge credit for the condition of this team. And it is a team, a team that has given its all and deserves all the praise they are getting.
As for RTE, big shame the National Broadcaster missed History being made once again by the Irish in America.