World Cup 2011 – Final Day

Saturday, 25 June – The End of our World Cup Adventure

First of all sorry for taking so long to put up my last blog – those two-and-a-half readers were not happy at all. The public can be so demanding once they get a piece of you. 🙂
So better late than never. Last report and impressions of our big World Cup adventure.

vs Swizerland

We had our last game against Switzerland on Saturday morning. The two teams were like two heavyweights slugging it out in the final round, last man standing from the exhaustion of the week.

We could hear our great cheerleaders on the sideline who flew over from Ireland especially for this last match, Fedi’s wife Fiona, Elaine, Eimear, Megan, Emer my sister and my mam! Great supporting! If only we had you for the whole tournament.

In the last few minutes of that last game to decide who would finish 10th and 11th in the world. We were trying to come from two tries down. I’m getting nerves in my stomach looking back at it now remembering just how much it hurt and how much my lungs were burning and legs aching. You keep going for pride in yourself and for your teammates to try and just give them one last result to be happy about that you could celebrate together…

Oh man we should have beaten them too but I’m almost too tired to beat myself up any more.

Some highlights of the tournament.

  • Our coaches speeches, sometimes calm, sometimes funny, sometimes passionate and inspiring, always intelligent. All the different words spoken by members of the team at different times.
  • The great spirit all the games were played in. The respect shown by all the teams after the games no matter what the result, it really is a great sport in this respect.
  • The deep friendships I have in the team.
  • Wearing an Irish jersey.
  • The occasion, all the different teams and colours and cultures. Chatting to some of them between games.
  • Singing the over 40s team to victory over England from the sideline on the last day and oh how beautifully we sang.

Highlights reel and explanation of the sport we put together for our students. 

My dad always says he can never understand how so many athletes can go to an Olympics or major tournament and not perform at their best. Well I can say I performed my best and I’m a better player now than I was a week ago. It was so hard to get yourself up for every game when you were so exhausted physically and every game was so difficult and so many results went against us but I did it. And I have so much to learn. We all do as a team.

And so onto Saturday night.

In rugby tradition, we had a kangaroo court session and one of our teammates, accused of being not aesthetically challenged (ie ugly) enough to appear on an Irish team was obliged to wear a mankini.

Click on the image below to see which teammate:

9c91e-mankini

And later… Hawaiian party night!

94b7d-hawaiiannight

Yes you’re right, we do look seriously hot in those outfits. Perhaps one of us is even wearing a mankini underneath… who can say for sure?

Great night. Though I almost fell asleep standing at the bar on a couple of occasions.

A big thank you to all the students in Kenilworth, to all the taggers, to a certain follower in Giterama, Rwanda who was checking the internet by the hour for our results (mmwah!), to Jim’s family in Boston, to Eimear Hogan’s mammy too, and to all friends and family who took time out to read this. We were often talking about it in the team how much we wanted to win more just so we could sent back a happy text or message to the people supporting us. The only part of the blog I didn’t enjoy was reporting on another loss.

This has been one of the best weeks of my life… Thank you to teammates and coaches and to you for sharing in it. What an experience!

Ian

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