Posted by: theswissjob | October 1, 2007

Heavy Heart

Words don’t describe the disappointment from the weekend. I came away from the game full of vitriol for O’Sullivan and Co., but reading the various reports and articles today I realise that I’m not as angry. I think having been there and seen the effort the team put into it, it’s tough not to sympathise and offer up excuses. It didn’t work out for us this time, let’s leave it behind, make a few changes and focus on next years fixtures. What else is there left to do?

And it had started off so well! We arrived in Paris late on Thursday night and spent Friday doing the touristy things and watched the England v. Tonga game in the hotel. Saturday was more of the same and watched the Wales v. Fiji through the window of a bar from their terrace across the Seine from Notre Dame. The Fiji win gave me hope that the impossible was possible and things boded well for our game. Sunday, the tension mounted.

We went for the first pint around lunch time, then had the second while watching the first half of France v. Georgia in a pub off the Champs Elysee. Wary of the time we left before half time and made our way, along with most of Ireland to the metro. We got on the first train to arrive to the roars of “heave” and “touch, pause, engage”! This train was not for the faint hearted, the claustrophobic or the Argentinians!

The atmosphere for the ten or so stations was fantastic. We belted out a few verses of “The Fields of Athenry”, “Ireland’s call”, “Only four tries for us Argentina” and someone even gave “Chattanooga Choo Choo” a go but was quickly shouted down! We emerged into a sea of green composed of leprauchauns, giant inflatable hammers and novelty wigs and hats. The French were even out in support wearing green and brandishing baguettes with “Come on Ireland” printed on the side. How could anything go wrong?

We took our seats, high up the stands behind what was the try line Ireland were defending in the first half. A quick scan of the stadium revealed a majority of Irish supporters and the team got a hearty welcome onto the pitch for the warm up. We belted out Ireland’s call when the time arrived, like our lives depended on it and five minutes into the game I’d convinced myself we were going to do it. What followed, as you probably all saw was nothing close to what this Irish team, on paper, is capable of.

The tries from O’Driscoll and Murphy gave us brief causes for a bit of roaring and shouting but overall our energy was taken up with shouting at the ref, the inability of our lads to take the ball into contact, the indecision of our backline and the stoic foolish tactic of kicking up field but not chasing down. Eighty minutes later, with a result we expected but didn’t welcome we ran the gauntlet of the Paris underground once more back to the safety of the hotel and 400 grammes of perfectly cooked medium steak. The highlight of the day really.

ps. When I regain the will and motivation I’ll post pictures from the match. But that could take some time.

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Responses

  1. completely out of context from the irish defeat…but is there any bars etc in paris that you would recommend? ive got tickets for the 3rd/4th play off in the vein hope that perhaps ireland might be there. hopefully scotland will though! cheers

  2. Not sure what to recommend Andy to be honest. I found the World Cup was very low key in the city. There’s a big rugby ball hanging from the Eiffel tower, a few banners about and a big tent/pub at the Trocadero that’s supposedly the “rugby village”. Some pubs have flags outside which generally means you’ll get to see a game. I would stick to the touristy areas if you’re in need of a good pub, so the Champs Elysee, there were a few in the St. Germain area, around the Eiffel tower there’s probably a few places, avoid the rugby village, not worth the trek.

    Sorry I can’t be of more help but you’ll have no problem finding somewhere just don’t expect the place to be coming down with rugby enthusiasm.

  3. I have been down to bordeaux for our two games plus Canada /japan.You would not have known the rugby world cup was in town other than us supporters and a very poor rugby village.nice town and people .But no good for a major sporting event.The trams are fantastic .

  4. the french not taking to the world cup so much then? we’d heard the rugby village was pretty awesome, apparently not then?

  5. I was really disappointed with the rugby village. I read there were all sorts of things going on there, exhibits, workshops, past world cup games etc. It was a big marquee that was four fifths pub and TV screens and one fifth official merchandise. The place smelt of stale beer and portaloos.

    Maybe I just caught it at a bad time! Or I had my hopes up!

  6. This picture speaks a thousand words!

  7. rugby village bordeaux. Big screen facing south need i say more.Beer naff .No feelgood factor atall.Best bit was when the cruise ships came up the gironde and docked,Full of americans,got talking to a couple of americans they said what sort of cup is that! The mayor of the town did not want the games there,so that explains the poor set up.Having said that the people i spoke to were very interested in the way us fans were going for it and seemed to enjoy our high spirit.I live two hours away from bordaeux and my neighbours thought we were mad to go and stay in our van for long weekends etc just to see rugby.that gives you a rough idea of the interest.

  8. Well done to the BOKS on winning the wrold cup!


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