And so the dream was taken away by the better side on the day, Scotland (20-23). It was interesting, when I asked Scottish fans before the game to forecast the result, all but one said ‘A Win!’. The other singular Scottish voice said he forecasted ‘a good weekend!’
Whilst most of our Welsh friends the week before forecasted Ireland to win by 10 points. You have to admire the fire that burns deep in the Scottish bellies.
The wonderful Scottish character in the middle of the montage, when asked for his feelings about the game, before the game, during a video interview, proudly announced his mobile number on camera and asked ‘Dublin Girls to call him without delay.’
As the last game of international rugby in Croke Park (The Hidden Jewel In Ireland’s Crown) drew to a close a couple of kilted Scottish fans told me what a privilege it was to visit Croke Park as it was a ‘sacred venue’ – a rare and never to happen again event , unless they came back to watch some Gaelic Games – Ireland’s national sport.
A touching moment of sportsmanship was shared with me by one of Ireland’s great out-halves, Ollie Campbell. He told me that after the game, the Irish, fly-half who struggled with his kicking and who was subsequently substituted, Johnny Sexton, went into the Scottish dressing room and gave his precious Irish shirt (he has only a handful of caps) to his opposite number, Dan Parks. When Parks offered his Scottish shirt in return, Sexton thanked him but refused as he felt that since Parks had won the ‘Man Of The Match’ award it was therefore a special game for him and he should keep his shirt in memory of his outstanding performance. This was from a young man who had just lost the chance of achieving one of his dreams – winning his first Triple Crown. Our dream was over but, like Johnny Sexton, we’ll rise again.