Ireland lost miserably

… against New Zealand.

22-3 was the final score of the rugby match between the All Blacks and Ireland at Croke Park tonight, which was broadcast live on MNET (thank you, MNET!). I was particularly pleased that the commentary came directly from Ireland, because it allowed me to imbibe almost two hours of Irish accent. Sigh… Hmmmm…

Despite a packed and enthusiastic home crowd, which sang both Amhrán na bhFiann and Ireland’s Call with passion and gusto, the All Blacks barrelled to victory like a steam train hurtling down the field towards the try line.

Personally, I thought that the Irish, with Brian O’Driscoll as captain for the 50th time, really didn’t stand much of a chance. Physically, the All Blacks just looked so much more solid, muscle-packed and heavy-weight – and when they pounded directly at the Irish, their sheer momentum and brute force clearly made them impossible to tackle… or to keep down.

In the first half, Dan Carter booted the ball through the posts, earning 3 points, and not too long after, Ronan O’Gara did the same for the Irish, evening out the score.

Then, as the first half was about to end, the New Zealanders went thundering towards the try line, the ball helpfully bouncing ahead of them. Just as Richie McCaw leapt for the last metres, reaching out to touch down the ball, Tommy Bowe (Irish), leaping to intercept him, stretched out his hands and palmed the ball out past the corner.

The South African referee called for assistance in trying to figure out what had happened.

Much to everyone’s astonishment (even Naas Botha, one of the rugby commentators on MNET, was upset about this), he yellow-carded Tommy Bowe for ‘preventing the try’, consigning him to the sin bin for the first 10 mins of the second half. I was flabbergasted: surely that’s the WHOLE POINT?!

And then, much to the dismay of the Irish fans (in our house that would be me), he awarded a try penalty to the All Blacks; Carter neatly booted the conversion ball through the posts, making the score 10-3.

I must confess that I kinda lost interest in the second half, in which Ma’a Nonu and Brad Thorn scored impressive tries, barrelling straight through the Irish defences, which they swatted aside like irritating flies. It was just too depressing to watch.

You can read a more detailed match report here, if you can bear it: RTE Sport and Irish Independent

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