Croke Park (heart) cracker February 13, 2007Posted by Rambling Man in Sports.
I’ve just about recovered from Croke Park at the weekend. I finally managed to blag myself a ticket (don’t ask how) and made the trip to the home of GAA with great hopes of seeing the first Irish rugby team to perform there come away with the spoils.
Despite the result and the way it happened, I must say I had a great day and the venue is a fantastic place for any sporting occasion. The stands just ooze atmosphere and Hill 16 where I was, didn’t let the noise levels drop all match ! That is, until the last minute French try, when 81,000 people went so quiet that you could clearly hear the French players shouting and roaring in the middle of the pitch.
How close we came to snatching the game. Ireland were poor in the first half and didn’t get their hands on the ball for the first 15 minutes. Still I don’t think that we lost it in the first half – we went in only 2 points down. I think we lost the game in midfield, especially nearing the end when there were more missed tackles than a blind man in a fishing shop. We definitely missed O’Driscoll in the middle of the park. Still, thems the breaks and we still have an outside chance of winning the championship. I don’t think England will be a push over but I fully expect us to do just that – push them over.
I enjoyed the small touches that the associations had allowed happen, such as all 3 of the usual stadium commentators having things to announce and the way some of it was in Irish. The big TVs were great too and aided the atmosphere. Apart from the groans when “that” referee (who we can’t blame because he said he’d ‘do’ us !”) blew early when Murphy broke away.
My overall view of rugby in Croker – fantastic. Atmosphere – nothing like it – the sound of Ireland’s Call being belted out by everyone was just brilliant. I have tickets for “the soccer” too which I doubt I’ll enjoy as much but should still prove to be enjoyable. At least we know we’re shite at football.