Palla Ovale’s Tour Diary: Episode 3

Dunedin and Home James

The student town of Dunedin, home to the world’s steepest residential street was made to look like St Paddy’s Day in Dublin on Sunday.  There was barely a blue shirt in sight amid a sea of green in its central Octagon.  The Kiwi love for the Irish continues unabated, and there were plenty of Nou Zillund accents to be heard from emerald-clad rugby fans (though our neighbours for the game were tow natives decked out in blue).  The party atmosphere continued post-match, beginning with the Irish crowd completely drowning out BOD’s post-match interview.  You quite simply couldn’t hear a word.
It was another accomplished performance by an increasingly rounded looking Ireland team.  Suddenly, all the component parts are working nicely.  Problems are solving themselves, like D’arcy’s upswing in form, while Jonny Sexton’s cameo included a touchline conversion that he badly needed.  Meanwhile, Sean O’Brien and Stephen Ferris are marauding their way through the tournament.  O’Brien has been voted in one poll in New Zealand as the player of the pool stages.  Ferris could not have timed his recovery any better.

There was a touch of sadness mixed with delight for the Ovales, as this was the end of the road for their tour.  It was on to Christchurch airport on tuesday, before making the long flight home.  So, it’ll be a 6am start for us on saturday.  A trip of a lifetime for sure – Simon ‘Posh Boy’ Hick put it best when he tweeted ‘So this is what it’s like to be at a World Cup when your team are brilliant.’  We can only hope the Irish team don’t have to hurry home any time soon.

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