Rugby World Cup, September 23: Ireland 13 South Africa 8, Stade de France
It was a mesmerizing day and night long before the most memorable events unfolded on the pitch in Saint-Denis, just outside Paris. The adventure began with a steep staircase descent to Marcel Samba metro station and we were off in two minutes. – Leg commuting.
Arriving at Miromesnil and transferring to line 13, the contrast could not be more stark: from the first journey, the stillness and straight line of the night commuter’s gaze into the middle distance gives way to the jersey-wearing Irishman It was replaced by a wavering band of supporters in the South. African man thrust into sweaty embrace.
It was hoped that every time the doors opened at the 17 stations between Saint-Denis and Porte de Paris, a representative from the Guinness Book of Records would be standing on the platform with a clipboard and clicker to see if a world record had been broken. . Number of living organisms in a standard vehicle.
The general hilarity, singing, laughter, and good-natured banter was universal, almost universal. The two men bicker in polite, if not satisfying, tones, indulging in an adult version of “My team is better than yours,” while their partners preach conspiracies in the background. He was smiling and rolling his eyes.
The concourse outside the Stade de France had the familiar look and feel of a typical Parisian Test match: boissons, baguettes and the buzz of anticipation.
The sights inside the stadium were a unique experience, breathtaking and a feast for the senses, especially in the hour before kick-off. The sheer number of Irish supporters, the colors, and the voices singing the newly adopted Zombie anthem captivated the supporters even more than the Irish themselves.
The match was mesmerizing, with Ireland’s flourishes, rugby flourishes, and glimmers of brilliance lost by mistakes, giving the game a suffocating tension that lasted until the final whistle. No one could breathe, neither the game nor the fans. Mack Hansen’s try also featured a nerve-wracking nanosecond moment when he tipped dangerously close to the dead ball line before dripping.
In the end, Andy Farrell’s side finished with some key moments on the right flank as the world number one team won their 16th consecutive test match, defeating the world champions 13-8. Although Ireland won the battle, Jack Nienaber’s Springboks ultimately defended their world title and won. But that night, it was a green field in France.
Ireland and the Irish team achieved greatness in rugby, with Farrell’s team and Richie Murphy’s under-20s achieving a Grand Slam and also reaching the World Junior Championship final, coached by Graham Rowntree. Munster won the URC title.
Even the painful defeats, such as Leinster vs. La Rochelle in the Champions Cup final and Ireland vs. New Zealand in the World Cup quarter-finals, were great moments. But nothing could overshadow the Springbok game night. Even a reckless scramble to wrest the last Metro from Dodge and retrace our earlier trip worked. It was that kind of day, that kind of night. Unforgettable.