November 2008


Once again the Onion has the answer to all life’s problems

I was at the Ireland game on Saturday and the atmosphere on the hill was great, for the first half at least !

It reminded me of the old days on the east terrace in lansdowne and was much better than the premium seats in the Hogan where people give you funny looks for being over-enthuasiastic and cheering at the top of your voice rather than clapping politely.

Haka at Croker

Haka at Croker

Anyway was great to see the Haka in Croker (although I still prefer the old one that finished with the jump) and we held our own admirably for the first half until Bowe gave away the penalty try but in fairness to him he had to try it as it would have been a try anyway.
The second half started and nearly from the off I had in the word of Bollo from the Mighty Boosh “a bad feeling bout this” (although that could have been due to the chips at half time).
We squandered so many oppurtunities primarily through Rog’s boot (I thought maybe he was having an off day and secretly hoped he’d be subbed at half time and be available for the munster game) and through passing errors in the back line and basic indiscipline.

When the final whistle went I got that all too familiar feeling of losing the All Blacks but alcohol soon got rid of that and a quick chant of where’s your world cup trophy soon put the kiwis in the pub back in their place !

As for the Munster game well what can you say. Apart from the over the top antics of the army ranger wing securing the perimiter of the half way line to bring in the match ball, it just felt special from the start even watching it on TV. Though it pains me to say it as a Leinster man, no-one does passion like Munster (as many a frequenter of Copper Face Jacks will tell you…try the veal, i’ll be here all week).

One of my mates has very strong family connections to munster so I knew Dougie, Jerry and the twins were planning a haka but nothing prepared me for it when i saw it.

It was just such a hair on the back of your neck moment and reminded me of Willie Anderson stamping up to face Shelford in Lansdowne in 89 (I was in the schoolboy section of the South Terrace and that match also marked my first alcoholic drink thanks to marks dads hip flask and some peach schnapps).

You just knew from kick off that these were 15 guys who would risk their bodies and if necessary their lives to win. In these days where players earn 6 figure sums for provincial and international duty (and thats not including their endorsement deals) they have so much to lose through being injured so sometimes you can see them only giving 90% but that certainly wasn’t the case last night.

It was also nice to see some of the lesser known stars (after last nights performance they’re all stars) get their chance to play. Mick O’Driscoll had an amazing game and was very unlucky to concede the penalty with 4 minutes to go, it certyainly looked to me like the ball was out.

The munster scrum was amazing and the all blacks looked genuinely rattled. For Donald to miss his penalties and the final conversion showed how rattled they were. Henry had to throw all his subs in to try and mix it up and you felt that if Munster had the likes of O’Callaghan or O’Connell on the bench it could all have been so different.

Last nights team should go down in history alongside the 78 time as an example of what courage is, but the lads of 78 will get a few more free meals out of their stories yet !

All in All, Ireland 7.5/10 but Munster 11/10 for sheer guts !

Ok, since my previous blog got deleted I lost the enthuasiasm to get really back into this blog….probably cos I figured it’d just get deleted aswell but it’s survived so far so here we go again!