What a game. You could have knocked me down with a feather it was so close. A last-minute drop goal changes everything.
In Christchurch it got the All Blacks home; in Australia it might have kept the Vodafone Warriors alive. I was one of those who tipped the All Blacks to win by 20 points but truth be known, I was delighted to watch Ireland play with such passion and heart.
They were mightily unlucky not to pull off a win and one that would have ended one of sport's longest losing streaks – the boys from the Emerald Isles not having beaten the All Blacks for 107 years.
Steve Hansen looked very relieved to see Dan Carter's droppie go over and you would have to say he avoided what certainly would have been unpleasant feedback in only his second game in charge had we lost.
Not enough credit is being given to Ireland, who played sensationally. Certainly the All Blacks did not play as well as they can but they won.
Across the ditch the exact opposite happened. The Mighty Vodafone Warriors played well and lost.
They will rue not taking the chance to go for a late field goal to tie it up and take the game into golden point extra time but that's the nature of the game – you make decisions out there and live and die by them.
So the ABs sneak home courtesy of that Carter kick while the Warriors go down 20-19 to the Sharks and the knives come out again for coach Brian McClennan. I am in his corner and will look forward to spending some quality time with him this week because he and I are off to Christchurch to support a fundraiser for the Halswell Hornets league club. We are travelling together so it will be excellent to just have time to talk because Bluey and I go back a bit.
The Little General, Stacey Jones, was on the phone to me at the weekend, though he was in shock after his Pt Chevalier Pirates team got a hammering, and we were talking about things at the Warriors.
Stacey is like me – he thinks Brian has to be given the time to work things through. And the thing he really likes about the bloke is that he always fronts up. Stacey reckons there are too many in the NRL keen to go to ground when things don't go to plan but Bluey will always cop it on the chin and he never hides.
I couldn't agree more. I'm constantly surprised with how many people ask me if he can coach.
Well, he won everything with his local league sides, the Fox Memorial Trophy, the Bartercard Cup and when he was in England his Leeds Rhinos side were the dominant force in the game.
Of course he was also at the helm of the Kiwis when we won a Tri-Nations, belting Australia 24-0 along the way.
So can he coach – does the Butcher like sausages? What a question.
The Vodafone Warriors get some time off this weekend, with the bye, which will give you all time to get out and support your local teams.
Remember, this is where it all starts, those frosty mornings when you might prefer to pull the blankets up but the kids need you, and your local community needs you. Get out there and cheer them on – especially fans of the Mighty Mangere East Hawks.
And don't forget, if you are at a loose end, visit Sir Peter's Museum at 23 Homes Rd.
We are open every weekend, check out sirpetersmuseum.co.nz for details.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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