I said on Saturday that it wasn’t about the history, and thankfully it wasn’t. What a great welcome England received, and with all the talk of protests and riot police there wasn’t a word of it since kick-off.
I left my house in north Dublin around 4.15 to head into town to watch the match. Just as I was leaving the house the rain turned from a light drizzle into a downpour. I have to admit that I mentally revised my predicted “Ireland by 8 points”… I thought the rain would seriously favour England because of the problems with the slippy Croke Park surface.
I live about 2 miles from Croker and passed it on the way into town. It was 45 minutes before kick-off and there was a real buzz around, despite the lashing rain. Walking down Talbot Street a team of o2-heads passed me in full rugby gear, they must have been freezing! I thought Robin from the GearedUp blog was one of them, but I couldn’t tell anything cos of the head gear.
In town the buzz was something else. It was really strange seeing all the green Ireland jerseys streaming up the North Strand instead of D4.
TP Smiths on Jervis Street was my destination, and thankfully my sister had managed to snag a stool for me – and right at the bar too!
Three anthems, 56 points, 5 tries and 8 pints of Guinness later we were delirious with joy. What a performance! I’ll get my voice back next week some time.