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"I started a joke, that started the whole world ......" | Ireland v New Zealand.

  • 14-10-2023 1:38am
    Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    The entire Rugby world (not Ireland) will break their collectively holes laughing if we lose on Saturday.

    Best in the World for a year?

    Win the Grand Slam? ✅

    About to equal the record winning streak? ✅

    First time in a semi final? ✅

    Toppled the reigning champs? ✅

    Pull Scotland's pants down? ✅

    World Cup Semi Final

    If it wasn't a curse before this weekend - it will be afterwards. It will spawn a lasting legacy of jokes, jibes and sneers that we as a country need to endure, for the sheer hilarity and enjoyment it will bring to literally everyone else (particularly the Welsh).

    Within an hour of the final the tweets and whatsapps will be flying. This will be no celebrity death, there will be no grace period, no warm up - no foreplay. "Knock Knock" "Who's there" "NOT A FCUKING SEMI FINAL DICK HEAD".

    The definition of insanity will officially be re-categorised to thinking Ireland can win a quarter final. The Kiwi headline writers will have the time of their lives... "Irish fans were seeing zombies, all blacks just saw a bunch of dead men walking"... the list goes on.

    We know it's coming. We know it's going to be awful. The jokes will be really, really funny but we'll never quite get to enjoy them as we will be the butt of them.

    So suck it up folks. This is it. Not only do our hopes and dreams get shattered - but we gift the rest of the world a joke, that started the whole world...


    Crying shame if we went out though. Because whilst the above is true - there is also an AMAZING good news story brewing.

    The record run starting with the All Blacks and equalling it with the win would be serendipitous. It would be an affirmation of all that this team has become because it wouldn't be a surprise. I said it on here a few weeks ago that if you went back to 2018, the nightmare scenario was facing a Joe Schmidt coached New Zealand in a World Cup knockout game.

    I can't get my head around how this has come to pass and yet I'm not all that concerned about this game.

    We've built well into the tournament, respected the fixtures and played entertaining rugby throughout. We've been really good value for the most part this tournament and the travelling support have become a story in and of themselves.

    It goes beyond that though. We talk about Ireland's failures in World Cups but we really only talk about the last few, as you don't go far back before Ireland were hamstrung by an amateur and undeveloped game domestically. A lot of the teams that headed home over the last week are in a similar place with their domestic game as we were not 20 years ago. If Ireland win the World cup, it's not the worst advertisement for the game as things stand.

    And then there is the Sexton factor. Every game is his last game and yet of any of the players interviewed regularly this tournament he is remarkably calm and clear. It's something you see across the squad, they've confidence in their game and their ability to repeatedly perform and that's very hard to play against.


    And then there is the All Blacks.

    How do you write about the All Blacks now as an Ireland supporter. It was on some podcast or other I listened to recently about the game that relationships between the players and their requisite supporters towards each other had re calibrated. I think this is abundantly clear since the series win last Summer but that really only emphasised a trend that had been materialising for some time. The All Blacks really are starting to struggle a bit with Ireland. Ten years ago I knew, I just knew they were somehow going to find a way to win that game at the death. I had barely begun to begin to dream and somehow found a score. They had always found a way to beat us and it seemed always would.

    It's amazing how much things have moved on since then, but to me that game was a catalyst for so much that Ireland have gone on to do. It was genuinely one of our best ever performances and it was just after Joe took over.

    Chicago was never a big deal to me. I celebrated and enjoyed it, but I felt it was half a win over the All Blacks and not a full win. This was in part down to the novelty factor of the location - but also because of the humbling the following week. We played well but couldn't match them. We still weren't there.

    We were the best we ever were under Joe in 2018 and that was the performance that for me suggested we could match the All Blacks. That was the start of the trend for me. Since then, when on form - we've generally beaten New Zealand. We lost the last quarter but that game was over before it started for anyone that had been paying attention. We were never in that tournament in a meaningful way.

    But all the other wins have been games where we at times were within ourselves. We've gone so far at times as to look almost dominant against the All Blacks.

    But then there is the first game last Summer in Eden Park. 42 : 19. We rallied, played our best rugby and won the series - but we only got the next two games because the first one wasn't a knock out. That worries me about this game. That's the nightmare scenario. "Why did the Irish fan cross the road ... not to go to a semi final".

    And this is compounded by the fact that over the last year the All Blacks are the one team that do score more tries against us.

    We've gotten very good at neutralising their kicking game and whilst their back three are better athletes I think we've the edge in terms of both tactical kicking and pressure relief kicking. Where they excel is the attacking kick chase, and whilst it's been effective against us - we've really flustered them with bombs onto their 22 the last couple of clashes also. The quality of their kick chase can lead to a break away score, but our variation between contesting in the air or getting numbers forward for a turnover causes them all kinds of problems.

    We won't smother New Zealand like we did Scotland, they'll have more purple patches, they'll do more with them. But we have SO many turnover threats on the pitch, the likes of Schmidt is going to be very reluctant to see any player in isolation - and I wonder what impact that will have on their attack?

    Otherwise you've two organised defences with Ireland's being the more organised and more abrasive. You've two good attacking teams with plenty of set piece plays but again Ireland with an edge given our ability to execute plays even deep into phases.

    Not much between the set pieces unless our lineout struggles again. Seems to have turned a corner so am optimistic.


    Few notables from the team sheet. The absence of Telea isn't a huge blow but does it suggest anything about the All Black camp? Ryan missing for Ireland is mitigated by Hendersons return to top form, but Ryan has had big games against the All Blacks before so still a disappointment he isn't available.

    That All Black bench isn't not what it used to be at all.


    We can't win this game. It would be taking too much joy from the world.

    But if we were to win, I think we might end up doing a number on the All Blacks.

    My heart still wants to say New Zealand. I'm so conditioned by disappointment against them that I still can't enjoy the fixture, but ultimately my head says Ireland and I think my head is right. New Zealand looked very vulnerable before the tournament and weren't able to mount a fight back against France. They've been on easy street for close to a month whereas Ireland are coming in fully match conditioned.

    New Zealand are in a funny place. They've everything to play for and yet they just aren't firing consistently. It's hard to gauge their form but ultimately a team is winning or it's not and the All blacks have had some losses of late that would have rocked my confidence were it Ireland.

    So Ireland will go hard from the outset tomorrow. Johnny Sexton will play like it's his last game and honestly I think we are going to see something special from this group. Again. I'm reminded of the ending of the movie Kingdom of Heaven. When asked what Jerusalem is worth, Saladin says ''Nothing". "Everything".

    A win tomorrow means nothing. It's the first of three finals and we get no reward. But a win tomorrow also means everything. It changes the game in this country and I think it puts us into a World Cup final.

    And it means we don't have to listen to YEARS of BS. Honestly if they don't win I'm going to be pissed.

    Too tired to proof read will do tomorrow.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,376 ✭✭✭Dave_The_Sheep

    Jesus Christ, Venjur. You've been sitting on this one a while, haven't you?

    There's a whole lot to unpack there for sure, on a whole lot of levels, and you know what? I'm totally in the same boat. Tomorrow is going to be either the most cathartic of releases or ... well, it's going to psychologically damage me in ways no other sporting event has, bar maybe the last two HC finals, but even so probably a lot more.

    Super stuff man.

  • Registered Users Posts: 29 bwdbwd

    What a post. Chapeau

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,557 ✭✭✭Ardillaun

    ..I’m duplicating here for some reason. For Ireland, the QFs are like a professional exam we keep failing in a nightmare. Defeat will be laden with so much significance. Don’t forget our domestic friends, e.g. at the lower end of the soccer tribe, who also will be jeopardizing the integrity of their sphincters with mighty guffaws if we lose again.

    Post edited by Ardillaun on

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,861 ✭✭✭TheRona

    Looking forward to tonight. Although obviously I want NZ to win, I do expect Ireland to win, and it's something they deserve after the consistency they've built up over the last few years.

    I just hope for a good game, with no major controversy. For the first time I can remember, I won't be too sad if NZ don't win a RWC knockout.

    My kids have been kitted out in AB's gear from birth, completely forced upon them by me. I have videos from when they could barely talk, making them tell me which rugby team they support, while their Mum is trying to get them to say Ireland. Now that they're well and truly old enough to make up their own minds, the buggers just sit on the fence and are happy whoever wins. What a position to be in going into tonight.

  • Hosted Moderators Posts: 8,114 ✭✭✭fitz

    Terrific post, @[Deleted User].

    Confident but is going to be about distracting myself so I don't get too stressed out by match time.

    Post edited by Mike on

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  • Registered Users Posts: 368 ✭✭MeisterG

    This game feels like a mongoose versus a cobra. We are the mongoose and should win but the cobra needs just one chance

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,483 ✭✭✭BoardsMember

    What a great read to start the day, thanks @[Deleted User] for a fantastic post, fitting for a mouth watering game.

    Post edited by Mike on

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,419 ✭✭✭✭Akrasia

    This is the defining game of the Andy Farrell era. He has built this team deliberately and stubbornly over 3 years, building and investing everything into the same core group of players, investing in a system of familiarity with his role sets, relentlessly sticking to his guns and making as few changes as he could to the core 23 in the hope that they would all arrive unscathed at this moment in time. The QF that Ireland are favourite to win, not because we got a lucky draw, but because we're the best team in the world.

    There were risks and it has to be said that Ireland getting through the group stages and warmups with only 1 injury to a first choice player and no suspensions or HIAs is a minor miracle, but we're here now. It's one game to secure his place as the undisputed messiah in Irish professional rugby and deliver us an incredible opportunity to reach a world cup final in 2 weeks time

    The pressure is huge on both sides, but Farrell has shown that this group of players are mentally strong and can keep going till the final whistle. The team know what they need to do and can adapt on the fly. If we get NZ rattled early on then the game is ours. If we go behind by more than 2 tries early on, we could be in big trouble as this NZ team thrive when their opponents are trying to force things.

    Ireland need to keep our players on their feet, not over commit to rucks, kick well and hold the defensive line. Funnel their wingers back in field in counter attack, force them into traffic and make them kick and chip behind us. New Zealand will try to pin us in, if one of them can hold 2 of us into a breakdown, they'll have space to beat defenders. Ireland defense is based on hard work, numbers on their feet and knowing exactly where the space needs to be covered. We blitz defend and are OK with missing tackles as long as the opponent is herded towards our defensive pods. That is our core strength, every player knows which side to funnel the attack so we always have a defensive advantage.

    They will score a couple of tries but we need to make them work for each one. Punish them for every failed attack by kicking well and moving them back down the field, forcing them to either run into traffic again or kick back where we will return the kick until we either give up a defensive lineout that we are confident we can win, or force them into over playing, or making a mistake.

  • Subscribers Posts: 41,586 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    I think we've just witnessed venjurs nervous breakdown. Great match thread!! Who would ever have expected a Robin Gibb clip in a match thread.

    I'm trying my absolute best to get rid of this feeling I have which is so reminiscent of the feeling I had on the morning of the Heineken cup.... And we all know how that ended up. The difference this time is that a lot of the players on the pitch will have learnt from that. I just can't shake the feeling though.

    Luke venjurs, my heart has been broken so often by a black jersey that no matter how my head computes that we certainly can win this if we play to our best, my heart has that Pavlov's dog reaction to an all black Ireland game.

    This isn't the AB team that dominated the world between 2010 and 2018, but they're no mugs. They've won the last four rugby championships in a row, and there's a hard spine of the team which play on a crusaders team that have won their last seven super rugby championships. These guys know how to win.

    Fuck me I'm wrecked already.....

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,443 ✭✭✭kuang1

    Thanks Venjur. Great stuff dude.

    If we win I think it'll be by more than a score.

    Ireland by 11.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 462 ✭✭part time punk

    Fantastic thread, thanks Just hope that the next match thread vs New Zealand isn't titled The Smiths (Joe Schmidt) 'That Joke isn't funny Any more'

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Good morning everyone. Great thread opener👏

    'We're too sexy for the All Blacks, too sexy for the All Blacks, so sexy it hurts' 😜

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,920 ✭✭✭✭stephen_n

    Thanks Venjur, I think that fairly sums it up. No matter how much logic I bring to this and logically I know if these two teams play to their ability, Ireland will win. I can’t bring myself to believe, because I just can’t face the crushing feeling of that hope dying, again. I hope it will be a great game and that nerves don’t dictate it, or cards. Though I really doubt the latter will be an issue with Barnes. I just want it to be 8.00pm already, as it’s going to be a long day, waiting.

  • Registered Users Posts: 923 ✭✭✭ujjjjjjjjj

    Is it only 9.42am ? Day is already dragging.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,004 ✭✭✭Yeah_Right

    Well done @[Deleted User] I knew you were the right man for the job. Looking forward to the match with a genuine sense of calm as I have such low expectations which is a first. Every other QF I've been absolutely certain we would win. Ok that's a lie, 2003 it was SA so of course I was nervous, 2011 our 10s were dropping like flies and 2007 & 2015 it was the **** French. I was nervous for all those. But not this one.

    Having said that I'll be at the in-laws tonight looking like a coco pop in a bowl of lucky charms. Good luck lads, hope it's a classic.

    Post edited by Mike on

  • Hosted Moderators Posts: 8,114 ✭✭✭fitz

    The level of collective trauma that's going to surface in this thread today from previous QF disappointments...

    I think I'm gonna need to leave the forum alone until later.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    From threads opened early in the week you know there's a lot of resentment, begrudgery and ill will out there. Ready to arrive if we lose.

    I find it really sad. As an Irish man I support all our teams. I was willing us on against Greece last night. We don't often max out at team sports, it's something for everyone to enjoy.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 10,597 Mod ✭✭✭✭aloooof

    Whatever happens, it should be a cracking game of rugby….

    ….. (he says, not giving a sh*te if it’s a complete dirge once Ireland win)

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,826 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady

    This is a good hour, this hour I believe we can do it. You have helped @[Deleted User]

    Post edited by Mike on

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,149 ✭✭✭threeball

    Flicking through social media, the majority of people (especially from NZ, SA and France) are dying for us to fall on our hole. In a normal year they wouldn't give two hoots, but this year they're putting the boot in and that shows one thing, they fear us. The All Blacks want to put us back in our box and the other two just want us out to the way for the rest of the tournament. The team should use it as motivation. Normally we're everyones 2nd or 3rd team, this time they can't wait to see the back of us. That speaks volumes.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,955 ✭✭✭✭Electric Nitwit

    That write up is better than anything I've read in any paper this week, amazing

    Nothing to add really. It's a coin toss at the moment, isn't it? Depends who turns up. If we're at our best I think we'll do it, but we have to be at our very best though

    Post edited by Mike on

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,365 ✭✭✭raclle

    Great read Venjur.

    "Depends who turns up". You hit the nail on the head.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,544 ✭✭✭Seadin

    Ireland really don't need any motivation, this is the game they have been after since last WC campaign. They are better than New Zealand on paper, this is a must win. The pressure is on but now as they have put themselves in this position they gotta win it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,776 ✭✭✭accensi0n

    If Sexton, aki and Ringrose can stay on until at least 70 minutes we'll win.

    I'm **** myself that Sexton gets injured early.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,861 ✭✭✭TheRona

    I was speaking to a kiwi mate this morning, and he was hoping NZ wins just due to the vitriol Foster has been receiving back in NZ. He said it's been completely over the top.

    One thing's for sure, there's plenty of motivation for players from both sides.

  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 35,454 Mod ✭✭✭✭pickarooney

    French teammates want NZ so they can exact some revenge for defeats past in the final.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,544 ✭✭✭Seadin

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,025 ✭✭✭happyoutscan

    I've a limited rugby background/knowledge - working on it the last 3 years - but that is one of the best posts I've ever read @[Deleted User]!

    As a Mayo man, I've plenty of hollow experiences of supreme disappointments so fingers crossed for tonight.

    Post edited by Mike on

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,672 ✭✭✭✭thebaz

    Ive benn following and played a bit for more years than I care - todays game is the biggest game I can remember - the pressure on the players must be intense , more so on Ireland - 50/50 but we might just sneak it, but expect drama amd the unexpected.

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    This is the biggest game in Irish rugby history.

    We are for the first time undeniably on a level playing field with the best teams in the world. Plucky excuses are for former Irish teams, not for this one.

    Were in form, we've come fully loaded with a cohort of genuinely world class players and we might have the best coach currently plying their trade in the game.

    Honestly, if every Irish player and every Irish supporter isn't up for this with the biggest, thickest 'come the **** at me bro' head on them then were in entirely the wrong sport.