Queenstown R and R for battered Irish
The battered and tired Irish rugby team touched down in Queenstown yesterday afternoon for some rest and recovery before their final test match against the All Blacks on Saturday.
Irish captain Brian O'Driscoll said the team would be spending their first afternoon in the resort catching up on some sleep.
The team lost to New Zealand 22-19 in a nail-biting match in Christchurch on Saturday night after Dan Carter kicked a penalty goal in the final seconds of the game to edge New Zealand ahead after being tied up 19-all.
The team arrived at Queenstown Airport by charter flight about 1pm and slipped in with little fanfare.
However, O'Driscoll said they were "delighted to be here" after their first stay in the resort during last year's Rugby World Cup.
The team needed to rest as they did not get much sleep after Saturday night's game but would be looking forward to taking part in activities in resort that they were unable to try last time, he said.
Sporting a black eye he was unsure of the team's injury count after the battering both the Irish and All Blacks sides took.
Queenstown resident Collette Rogers, of Ireland, travelled to the match to watch her former home team play her adopted home team and said she did not feel defeated by the All Blacks despite the loss.
"Even though we lost, we lost with honour because we fought tooth and nail," Miss Rogers said.
The team will spend time in Queenstown training before the final match in Hamilton this week.
The Southland Times