Belfast Telegraph

Donald's party is trumped in Chicago

By Billy Weir

Well then, no-one was expecting that in America, the greatest shock since Paddius Powerius offered 100-1 that the wee lad Davy would give Goliath a whack around the chops.

A seemingly unbeatable force, coming off the back of a long period of domination and destined to rule again, put firmly in its place by an upstart who, by and large, was only really there for the beer and to look up some forgotten bricklayers.

Yes, Ireland really did beat New Zealand. Forget Donald Trump (some chance), forget Brexit (it's not over yet), forget Leicester City (already have), the boys in green leaving the All Blacks red-faced was enough to even bring a smile to a Clinton's face.

Before a rigged election vote had even been cast, Chicago was in the midst of the party of all parties, the Cubs' World Series win last week sending the city wild and BT Sport's Ali Eykyn set the scene for us as rugby lumbered in to gatecrash festivities.

"A city that has been supercharged since Wednesday, the Cubs winning their first World Series in 108 years, the longest drought in North American professional sport, the fans still celebrating and here another lengthy period of sporting dominance is on the line," he began.

"In 111 years, across 28 matches, the Irish have never beaten the All Blacks - could it happen tonight?" Yeah right, and Trump will be President and Liverpool will be top of the Premier League…

You had a feeling that the wind of change was about to blow in the Windy City when New Zealand gave America a rare glimpse of the Haka, and let's hope they made the most of it as under the new regime they are unlikely to be allowed back in the country with the American Eagles crowned World Series Rugbybowl champions every year.

Ireland were largely disinterested, choosing to line up in the shape of a number 8 in memory of Anthony Foley, but once the action started there was no let-up in an intensity the big man would have relished.

"In terms of an advert for the game, it's an absolute blockbuster," said co-commentator Paul Grayson, with the love interest provided by New Zealand's Aaron Smith, back after his alleged misdemeanours of late.

"Aaron Smith returns at No.9 after the incident in Christchurch Airport," Eykyn told us, probably safer to keep him out on the pitch, but in other news the President is keen to make him his new Secretary of State (of sweaty dishevelment).

On the pitch things couldn't have gone much better for the Irish, going in at the break 25-8 in front and a likely landslide victory on the cards that even the thickest of American opinion pollsters couldn't make a hames of.

Not so fast.

They love a rally Stateside and New Zealand duly obliged as suddenly it was 30-22 and the boys in green were threatening to go all brown as the All Blacks enjoyed a purple patch, but then stepped up Robbie Henshaw.

"It's Henshaw, Robbie Henshaw (so good they named him twice) with the all-important score, Ireland in dreamland in Chicago, could it really be the day?" cried Eykyn.

"The party has almost started, yet another one in Chicago. The place has been in meltdown since the Cubs' win in the World Series, goodness knows what will happen this evening," he added, with a crass racial stereotyping of a nation as the camera panned in to the Soldier Field crowd to see a man dressed as a pint of Guinness.

"Let's hope they've restocked the bars because they're going to take another hammering tonight," added Grayson, as both checked to see if they had any Irish in them so they could join the party.

And then it happened.


"The mighty All Blacks felled by Ireland for the first time in history - their American dream has come true, it's taken 111 years, 29 meetings and so much heartache," concluded Eykyn.

"An unbeaten record of 18 wins on the spin for New Zealand comes to a grinding halt in front of a machine dressed entirely in green."

Indeed, the incredible bulk of Ireland sent the All Blacks packing, keeping a close eye on one of their party in departures, but unlike Brexit (possibly) and the US Election, it isn't all over just yet.

The All Blacks come to Dublin next week and you imagine they might be smarting a little, but, never mind making America great again, let's trump Chicago and make sure we're stronger together.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph