BY SABENA MOYLAN
Little did we think when boarding our flights to Chicago we would end the Best Team in the world’s unbeaten run of 18 games. Ireland were never going to be the team backed to beat the All Blacks. The All Blacks a team that everyone tries to beat but can’t until that magical day in Soldier Field November 5th when Ireland did.
The build up for the game all around Chicago it was all about the All blacks Ireland where very rarely mentioned if not mentioned at all. This suited Ireland they where the underdogs they had absolutely nothing to lose only to go forth and conquer which is what they did. As the teams lined out on Soldier Field and the mark of respect for Anthony Foley started I knew then this day was the day Ireland will make History. The All blacks started their mighty Haka and as I look to the left I see Ireland form the number 8 as a mark of respect to the late Anthony Foley lead by the Munster Players in the team. This lifted the crowd and like a gift from heaven we all knew this was it.
The force that surrounded Ireland on that momentous day was incredible. They tackled like their lives depended on it. Their defence was sublime it was like the All blacks where stunned why can’t we get past this we are used to putting 40 or 50 points on the board but not today. That day in Soldier Field the All blacks met their match in Ireland. Excellent performance by Connor Murray on the day would definitely class him as the best Number 9 in the world. Another superb performance from Carberry who took over the number 10 role swimmingly after Johnny Sexton went off. Ireland had numerous stand out performances on the day but as a whole as a team you could not have written the script.
As the Fields of Athenry an old Irish favourite streamed out across Soldier Field hairs stood on the back of your neck. 63,000 Irish fans in one stadium was only going to do one thing and that was magic. A magical performance on the field and in the stands it was a very proud Day to be Irish.
Irish Rugby has been reborn the provinces within Ireland are putting on some great performances along with the national side the future is bright. Irish Rugby can be happy that after 111years pride shone through on that day in Chicago . The weekend gone by at the Aviva Ireland met a different beast in the All blacks. They came out of the traps and hit Ireland hard. The All blacks undoubtedly are the best Team in the world. After Ireland beating them to their 19 unbeaten win they weren’t going to lie down and take it. A lot of talk has been spoken about match officials over the last few days. If we as a Rugby nation dwell on that fact we won’t move forward to compete against Australia next weekend.
It’s time to look forward and grow from that Historic win in Chicago. With the six nations around the corner Ireland can go forward well in the knowledge that they have done what many teams have failed to do..and that’s they have beaten the All Blacks it doesn’t get much better than that.