Shoulder to shoulder

I am an emotional wreck. My heart rate has been taken to a point where a cup of coffee would have sent me over the edge and I have nearly passed out due to holding my breath.

I am not talking about running here, though I had a great 21km run in the sunshine on Sunday. It was so hot that I did the run in my sleeveless top and look – I even got a tan!

Excuse the messy bathroom and sweaty hair but check out the tan lines from my sports bra! = PROPER SUNSHINE!
Excuse the messy bathroom and sweaty hair but check out the tan lines from my sports bra! = PROPER SUNSHINE!

So back to why I have been dragged through elation, desperation and finally to triumph. Six Nations 2014 concluded this weekend, specifically on Saturday. It has been a great year for “my boys” (Ireland) and the only game lost was to England (very unfortunate). Even more unfortunate was the fact that England had also played rather well only losing to France. So it all came down to what happened on Saturday when England took on Italy ย and Ireland went head to head with France (in Paris). The situation was this:

– England lose, Ireland win => Ireland win Six Nations (yay!)

– England win, Ireland lose => England win Six Nations (boohoo!)

– England lose, Ireland lose => Ireland win Six Nations (yay!)

– England win (by less than a margin of 49 points), Ireland win => Ireland win Six Nations (yay!)ย (if England had managed to make up that margin, Ireland would have needed to win by that many points against France or lose the title)

The odds were very much against us as England was never going to struggle against Italy. In fact they won the game 52 against Italy’s 11 – by some miracle Italy managed a try which saved our bacon and meant the points difference was 41 and all Ireland needed to do was win against France.

Easier said than done… We took France on in Paris, on their home turf. Ireland have only won against France in Paris once in 42 years…

I am not going to go into the full match report here (it is almost painful to recall) but it was the toughest game to watch in a very long time, possibly ever. The whole 80 minutes was played with the teams within a few points of each other. There were missed penalties, lost conversions and one (thankfully) failed French try due to a forward pass.

In the end – Ireland took victory with 22 points against France’s 20. Up to the last second it could have easily gone the other way (and so nearly did).

To say there were some happy people in our house would be an understatement, though I am proud to say that I didn’t cry this time! Usually I can’t help myself. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was also the last International game (ever) in the Irish jersey for the hero that is Brian O’Driscoll as he has hung up his shirt. What a great way to bow out of the game. And what an amazing player.

Here are some of the gems I could find on the internet to show you what it was all about.

Copyright BBC
Paul O’Connell with the trophy
Copyright The Guardian
Brian O’Driscoll






Copyright Irish Independent
Ok, so this is from the game against Scotland but I had to get beautiful Rob Kearney in there
Copyright Cian Heeley
I have a feeling it will have been a wild night in Paris…
Copyright ESPN
Oh how I love this picture!


8 thoughts on “Shoulder to shoulder

  1. You had me worried… I understand football, being married to a Kiwi following the rugby is like an all encompassing religion. But I thought you were from Finland, but you follow Ireland? Nice tan lines, glad to know the weather is warming up and the running is going well ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. I hate football, can’t make any sense of it. But rugby – oh my god – I LOVE IT. Yes, I know it’s a bit weird that a Finn is such a fierce fan of Irish rugby but it’s due to the Irish husband who introduced me to the team early on when we started going out. What can I say, they are an easy bunch to love and support. ๐Ÿ™‚ The weather was glorious over the weekend, just immediately makes me a happier woman. ๐Ÿ™‚


      1. I get confused with what is and isn’t football. Where I am in Australia football is Australian Rules but then there is soccer and rugby that’s all called football. I’m unsporty so I don’t get any of it either! I understand the Irish connection now – I shall think of you next time the All Blacks play the Irish rugby team ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope that warm weather keeps coming on for you ๐Ÿ™‚ the tan suits you.


      2. Oh that IS confusing. To me football is soccer and Aussie rules etc would fall under rugby. The All Blacks are amazing. Of course I hate the fact that they usually whoop ours and others ass but they are a pleasure to watch.


  2. Ok, ok …. let’s get this over with … the back picture. I will just say, glad you had a good sunny run and leave it there … because otherwise…

    1) My wife would ask me why I am looking at another woman’s back … then whap me.
    2) Your husband would ask me why I am looking at his wife’s back … and he’d whap me too.
    3) Then you would likely whap me … just because things happen in 3’s.

    So … moving on:)

    You must have been SUPER excited as you wrote this. When you were giving the various scenarios of how either Ireland or England could win … I had to chuckle. I can just see all those going through your brain trying to figure out all the combinations and I just KNEW that last situation would happen!

    And that Brian Oโ€™Driscoll person … we sometimes get a magazine, Ireland of the Welcomes … a touristy magazine for those outside of Ireland I think … and they had a story on him!


    1. You are very funny. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Didn’t actually even give a second thought to the back picture.. Hmm… Well, I suppose I balance any potentially “luring” pictures with posts of the Gingerbread Man (aka trying not to poo yourself when running) and Camel Toe. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yeah, I was still on a real high from the game when I wrote the post. I absolutely love (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE) the Six Nations tournament and it is the only thing that makes February and March bearable. I may sound silly but seeing my team come on the pitch and get ready for the game kind of takes my breath away so to win was ah-mazing!

      I am not surprised BOD was in the magazine – he is probably among the most well known and loved Irish (wo)men. A bit of a sporting legend, really. ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Okay, so I know nothing about rugby (aside from the glory day stories I’ve heard my husband tell thousands of times about playing on a real rugby team with real Irishman when he did study abroad in Dublin), but I’m guessing this is somewhat akin to my crazy, totally irrational excitement that baseball season is about to start up again? Or maybe like when the San Francisco Giants won the World Series for the first time? (ah, yes, after all those years of pretending not to be an American, I’ve finally given in – or given up, I should say – and gone whole hog American pride I guess)

    Oh, and the tan lines… It’s only gotten below 80 degrees like twice this winter in Los Angeles, which is bad for the world in a number of ways, I know, but is really REALLY bad for my tan lines… You should see the one around my bicep where I wear my phone armband ๐Ÿ˜ฆ


    1. Your husband played in a real rugby team? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Seriously? Girl, you need to catch yourself a game – rugby is… it’s a tough game! Wow – respect to him!

      My love and passion for Six Nations does sounds very much like how you feel about the baseball season. Do you feel giddy and excited? Is your heart going nuts just at the thought of it? Yup. And hey, I am not Irish either and they probably haven’t even heard of rugby in Finland. However, when Ireland plays I am the most passionate, the loudest and the craziest supporter they have ever had. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Yeah, I have really mixed feelings about tan lines. On one hand I am over the moon that it’s warm enough and the sun is strong enough to produce some. But then – I hate tan lines (and the fact that I end up with about 5 different “sleeve” marks). And phone armbands are the worst! And running in Capris when you get half a leg tanned. I suppose I shouldn’t complain – it could be snowing.


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