All Blacks back in town

Well, it’s been a while since I last posted on rugby – so long in fact, that the All Blacks have arrived in Dublin for the 2nd match of their Northern Hemisphere tour!

After their destruction of a supposedly strong Welsh side last week and quite a few injuries (Brian O’Driscoll, Paul O’Connell and Denis Hickie) I’m quite worried about Ireland’s chances. Haha – don’t get me wrong – even with a full strength side we’d be in trouble against this NZ side. Our hope lies in the fact that we’re facing a different side than they played in Cardiff, so not having played together might weaken them slightly. Who am I kidding?. Against Ireland, NZ’s record is won 16, drawn 1 )

Actually, last time they played here in Dublin (17 November 2001) we stretched them pretty good – we were ahead 16-7 at half-time, and BOD sent Hickie over to score a try immediately after the interval to put us 21-7 in front. Watching from the North Terrace, I vividly remember thinking “this is it – we’re actually going to beat the All Blacks!”. In front of me just to the right was a ~25 year old New Zealand guy crying. Shortly afterward, it was me. They ran in 5 tries in 20 minutes, and the fulltime score was New Zealand 40, Ireland 29 — painful.

We’ve come close on occasion (e.g. in Dunedin a couple of years back), but we’re still waiting to break the duck. Here’s to hoping!

I’ll be stewarding in Lansdowne on Saturday, so hopefully I’ll have a great view of a famous victory from the West Upper 😀 Enjoy the game.