Get the inside track on how Ireland are getting on in Edmonton with flanker Orla Brennan's World Cup diary, as told to www.iwrfu.com.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1:
Friday began with a recovery session in the pool with Patrique Kelly leading the way. She was injured before the World Cup and has come along and joined our management team. Further recovery was to follow with some retail therapy in the West Edmonton Mall.
It has everything, millions of shops, an ice rink, a water park, animal shows - the works! I was accompained to 'The Seal Show' by Marie Barrett, Yvonne Nolan and Eimear O'Sullivan.
Psycho (Rachel Reid) reckoned she won the competition for purchasing the most food: "Chicken & Blackbean sauce, Chicken Burger Combo Meal, two Mochas and Ben & Jerry's ice cream!" Joy Neville was adamant that she was going to purchase a hoodie and soon into the shopping spree she found one and bought it. It was so nice that she decided to wear it all day. However just before leaving, she saw a different one in French Connection - high standards has our Joy - so the first one was taken back to the shop, bearing in mind it had been worn all day...
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 2:
We trained early in the morning. The Aussies were training on the pitch beside us and didn't know what to make of us as we skipped around the place - yes we skipped! It was great craic, with even the management getting involved. Yvonne was crowned 'Queen of Skipping'!
We had our usual one lap jog of the pitch where the Munster flyer Jeanette Feighery ran into one of the flags on the touch line which managed to fly back and give me a bit of a smack but to be fair, it was nothing like the smack that Shannon Housten gave Rachel Boyd with her head this week, busting her nose in the process!
Poor RB's face, nose and head resembled the beast from 'Beauty & The Beast' when happened - not good.
Before lunch, some people from the IRB came to the hotel to take accurate height and weight measurements from the squad. There were a few surprises - well actually it was just Lynne Cantwell that couldn't believe she was only 160cm tall!
In fairness, we couldn't believe that Yvonne Nolan, Mairead Kelly and Suzanne Fleming were actually as small as Lynne...so with a few doubts in everyone's (well only Lynne's) mind, we decided to do some measuring of our own.
We came to the conclusion that Suzie might just take the title at 160.5cm but some other interesting facts were noticed - Lynne has a long neck and Yvonne Nolan has none (too much time spent in the front row)...
We went out for dinner to a local restaurant for a bit of a change of environment. We waited about an hour to be served, however by the licked clean plates, I think it was worth waiting for. Being a vegetarian, sitting in a Steak House with thirty people eating cows probably wasn't the most ideal place for me to be, especially as I was sitting beside Shannon, whose steak almost ran off her plate it was so rare.
A trip to 'Dairy Queen' (a fast food place where they have the best ice cream ever) was on the cards - heaven.
Room 125 (Mine and Jean Lonergan's room) was the social room that night where we chilled and had a laugh. It's a nice way to relax and get to know your team mates better. That night we learnt how Caroline Mahon is the chairperson of the UL Bohemians' welcoming committee - how lovely is she!
...Orla Brennan on the attack for Ireland...
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 3:
We had an early start this morning (7am) as the lads wanted to replicate the schedule for the match day. We trained well and had the afternoon off. We headed up to the Nike store in the Retail Park just to kill some time and then back for a massage from our masseuse. Tania (Rosser) started her usual routine of braiding some of the girls' hair. She spent two hours on Joy's hair, which eventually ended up being taken out as poor Joy was being called 'Heidi' and the like. Chilled that evening.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 4:
Match day two - Ireland v USA. We had a great build-up to the game; units went well as did the warm-up. The team played really well, however it wasn't to be our day again, losing 24-11. My roomie Jean scored the try, however it was Slim (Gillian McAllister) that got the credit from the fourth official for it - Jean's thunder stolen. So I feel a need to put it in black and white that Jean Lonergan scored the try against the USA - her first try for Ireland!
We stayed and watched the England v South Africa match - a good game to watch as the South Africans are our next opponents.
Back to the hotel where we had our recovery session with 'Paddy', which was finished with some synchronized swimming routines designed by ourselves - hilarious. Bed early enough as we're off on a day trip (to the Rockies) tomorrow on our day off.