Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Peter Bills' World Cup blog: A late night after Ireland win

Ireland's Paul O'Connell celebrates after the IRB Rugby World Cup match at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
Ireland's Paul O'Connell celebrates after the IRB Rugby World Cup match at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Stephen Ferris of Ireland celebrates victory after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Irish fans celebrate victory at the final whistle during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies is high tackled by Rob Kearney of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: James O'Connor (R) of the Wallabies walks off dejected with Anthony Fainga'a after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: James O'Connor (C) of the Wallabies walks off dejected with team mates during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: James Horwill (L) and Sekope Kepu of the Wallabies look dejected after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Ireland fans celebrate victory after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Ireland fans celebrate victory after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Radike Samo (R) and Rob Simmons of the Wallabies look dejected during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Paul O'Connell of Ireland wins the line out ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: James Horwill of the Wallabies drops the ball under pressure from Paul O'Connell of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Jamie Heaslip of Ireland celebrates victory after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Mike Ross of Ireland charges forward during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Mike Ross of Ireland charges forward during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Rocky Elsom of the Wallabies walks off dejected after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: The rain comes down over the corner flag during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies is high tackled by Rob Kearney of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Quade Cooper of the Wallabies looks on during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: The rain comes down over the corner flag during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Ireland's Ronan O'Gara celebrates after the IRB Rugby World Cup match at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Irish fans celebrate victory at the final whistle during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Tom Court of Ireland and Jamie Heaslip of Ireland celebrate at the final whistle during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies looks dejected after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Quade Cooper of the Wallabies drops the high ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Ireland fans celebrate in the stands during the IRB Rugby World Cup match at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
Ireland fans celebrate in the stands during the IRB Rugby World Cup match at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
Australia's Kurtley Beale squares up to Ireland's Conor Murray (left) during the IRB Rugby World Cup match at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
Ireland's Jonathan Sexton celebrates after the IRB Rugby World Cup match at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
Ireland fans celebrate in the stands during the IRB Rugby World Cup match at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies takes a high ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: The Wallabies walk off the field dejected after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Paul O'Connell of Ireland (C) is congratulated after winning a penalty during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Irish fans celebrate victory at the final whistle during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Irish fans celebrate victory at the final whistle during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Irish fans celebrate victory at the final whistle during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland (L) encourages his team during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Sekope Kepu of the Wallabies walks off dejected after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Donncha O'Callaghan of Ireland ins the line out ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: The Wallabies walk off the field dejected after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Adam Ashley-Cooper of the Wallabies is charges forward during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Adam Ashley-Cooper of the Wallabies is charges forward during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Ireland's Ronan O'Gara celebrates after the IRB Rugby World Cup match at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Paul O'Connell, Tom Court and Stephen Ferris of Ireland celebrate victory at the final whistle during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Radike Samo and Saia Fainga'a of the Wallabies look on dejected adter the final whistle during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Will Genia of the Wallabies charges forward with the ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Tom Court (C) of Ireland celebrates victory with team mates during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: The Wallabies walk off the field dejected after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Will Genia and Quade Cooper of the Wallabies look on dejected adter the final whistle during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: James Horwill, captain of the Wallabies talks to his team as Rocky Elsom looks on during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Will Genia (L) of the Wallabies looks dejected with Radike Samo during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Brian O'Driscoll (L) and Keith Earls (R) of Ireland tackle Quade Cooper of the Wallabies during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Anthony Fainga'a of the Wallabies looks dejected during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: James Horwill of the Wallabies looks on during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: James Horwill, captain of the Wallabies looks dejected during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Adam Ashley-Cooper of the Wallabies charges forward past Jonathan Sexton of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Ronan O'Gara of Ireland converts a penalty during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Adam Ashley-Cooper of the Wallabies is tackled by Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Dan Vickerman and Radike Samo of the Wallabies look dejected during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Jonathan Sexton of Ireland kicks a penalty during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: James Horwill of the Wallabies (R) looks dejected during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Eoin Reddan of Ireland passes the ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: James Horwill, captain of the Wallabies jumps for a lineout ball with Donncha O'Callaghan of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: (L-R) Dan Vickerman, Sekope Kepu and Rocky Elsom of the Wallabies look dejected during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Paul O'Connell of Ireland tries to reach for the ball from Radike Samo of the Wallabies during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies is high tackled by Rob Kearney of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Quade Cooper of the Wallabies jumps for a high ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies is high tackled by Rob Kearney of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Ireland and Australian Wallabies fans look on during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: An Ireland fan looks on ahead of the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: A Wallabies fan soaks up the atmosphere during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Wallabies and Ireland fans soak up the atmosphere during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Wallabies fans soak up the atmosphere during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Ireland fans soak up the atmosphere ahead of the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: A masked Ireland fan looks on ahead of the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Will Genia of the Wallabies is tackled by Jamie Heaslip of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Will Genia of the Wallabies is tackled by Donncha O'Callaghan (L) and Paul O'Connell of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland gives intructions during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Rocky Elsom of the Wallabies wins the lineout ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Pat McCabe of the Wallabies is tackled by Keith Earls of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
An Ireland fan in the stands during the IRB Rugby World Cup match at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies tackles Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Ben McCalman and Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies tackle Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland drives on past Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Quade Cooper of the Wallabies charges forward during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Paul O'Connell of Ireland tries to reach for the ball from Radike Samo of the Wallabies during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Pat McCabe of the Wallabies is tackled by Sean O'Brien of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies is tackled by Rob Kearney of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Ben McCalman and Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies tackle Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Ben Alexander of the Wallabies is high tackled by Rob Kearney of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: A Wallabies fan looks on during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Keith Earls of Ireland is tackled by Pat McCabe of the Wallabies during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Will Genia of the Wallabies is tackled by Donncha O'Callaghan, Paul O'Connell and Mike Ross of Ireland and during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Tommy Bowe of Ireland is tackled by Adam Ashley-Cooper of the Wallabies during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Radike Samo of the Wallabies is tackled by Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Sean O'Brien of Ireland grabs the ball ahead of Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Sean O'Brien of Ireland and Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies scramble for the ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Kurtley Beale of the Wallabies tackles Brian O'Driscoll of Ireland during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

A stunning performance by Ireland and an equally amazing one by their supporters; it was good to be green on Saturday night in Auckland.

When I finally left the ground just before midnight, no-one seemed in any great hurry to be off home. And most of those who had been at the match and had disappeared by then had headed for the bars and restaurants in nearby areas like Ponsonby and Herne Bay, in the Auckland suburbs.



These places were heaving as I went by. A pity I couldn’t join in the fun but with newspapers to file to in Belfast and Dublin, there was too much work to do. In the end, I finished writing at 3am!



It reminded me of the night in 2003 when England won the Rugby World Cup. I was staying at Coogee, one of the eastern suburbs in Sydney. The trouble with Sydney and rugby union is that most of the big matches are played out at Homebush, miles away from the city centre.



I suppose it would be the equivalent of Twickenham to London, although in this case the train out to Homebush, which was the 2000 Sydney Olympics stadium, seems to take ages.



Anyway, after hanging around for the two official press conferences and then seeking individual players for interviews, I didn’t leave the area until very late. After waiting for an age for a train I finally got back to Coogee at about 1.30am. I remember it was raining hard that night and I was dead lucky to get a taxi near the Central Station.



I had a load of work to do then, I remember, for papers all over the world. And I didn’t finish until 0430.

I thought then, great; England have won the World Cup. What do I do, where do I go to celebrate? Coogee had long since shut down for the night, nothing was happening there. I’d have had to get a cab into the centre of Sydney, but chances were most of the bars would have closed by then.



So to celebrate England winning the World Cup, I went to bed. It was a bit like that here in Auckland on Saturday night as I crawled wearily into bed at 0330.



I guess it’s everyone’s dream to be sent to cover a Rugby World Cup or indeed any World Cup, as part of your job. Expenses paid, and you get to see all the big matches. How good is that, I hear you say?



Sure, it is nice to be here. But you never forget, the No. 1 reason you have been sent is to work. No-one said, ‘Hey, why don’t you go down to New Zealand and have a 7-week long party. You’ll have a ball.’



It isn’t like that in the modern world. This isn’t a complaint by the way; it’s a statement of fact. You work hard, take the job seriously and take satisfaction from the fact that you’re doing a professional job. And I’m sure that goes for 99% of all the journalists who are here to cover the tournament.



This isn't a sympathy symphony but the fact is, we’re not here to play.



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