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Tour Diary – Match Day And History

Tour Diary – Match Day And History

An incredible day for Irish Rugby which included a first ever win over New Zealand for the Ireland U-20s and an historic first away Test success against South Africa.

All told there are five Ireland international teams in action this weekend, including the Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams and the Men’s Sevens Development side. It was also going to be a busy day on social media.

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For the team here in South Africa, the late kick-off means a chance to watch some of the early action featuring New Zealand v Wales and Australia v England.

Of course there’s plenty of food to be taken on board, strapping to be done and final unit meetings followed by a walkthrough.

At the stadium the atmosphere is building and news is filtering through of the Ireland Under-20s. The team are focused but following a match on Twitter makes for a nail-biting time…little did we know…

The match itself goes from full speed ahead to slow motion when you’re following it. The opening try, the red card, Paddy’s drop goal, the South African try, Robbie’s yellow card.

The second half is about skill and guts and Ireland had both in spades. Dig deep, bodies on the line – none more so than the inspirational captain Rory Best and vice-captain Jamie Heaslip.

Emotions run high post match as the team and management savour the moment and soak up the acclaim of Irish and South African fans alike. Ireland flanker Jordi Murphy is almost lost for words in the immediate aftermath of the win:

An emotional Devin Toner dedicates his man-of-the-match award to his late father Peter who passed away recently.

After the post-match media, it is back to the hotel and a chance to see family and friends and savour the moment.

A day for celebration and a proud day in the history of Irish Rugby. We could be heroes – just for one day!