Let's revel in Chicago for a while
Published 09/11/2016 | 02:30
Can we play in Chicago every week? At this point I'd settle for every year. Any excuse to revisit Soldier Field, our new favourite home from home. In the aftermath of our incredible win, it's so easy, and enjoyable, to get carried away. Sure the dissenting voices are pointing out the All Blacks' deficiencies, injuries and mental fatigue, and that's fair enough. The supporters though should feel free to ignore those minor details for now and revel in what's happened.
The culture in sport is to move on fairly quickly and no doubt the players will be trying to come back down to earth, the video session will be a bit more light-hearted but as rigorous as usual and the players left behind will be steaming into tackles against the conquering returnees. The supporters should continue to revel though.
They should revel in the Conor Murray excellence, his nerveless giant-booted penalty, his part in the Simon Zebo kick-chase and his general sense of being The Boss. They should revel in Robbie Henshaw, no longer the next Brian O'Driscoll, now just The Robbie Henshaw. Brute force going backwards against a giant marauding All Black honey-trapping him into thinking he's making ground as Henshaw holds him up for his team-mate to choke and win a penalty.
Revel in the giant rugby brain that rejects what any normal human would do and take him down, revel in the confidence in his team-mates to take advantage. Revel in that temperament and fitness to still be going at the last minute. Like a boss.
Revel in Donnacha Ryan and Cian Healy scaling heights we thought injury would prevent them from reaching again. Revel in the masterclass from Rob Kearney. Revel in Zebo fulfilling his potential after it looked like he wasn't part of Joe's masterplan.
Revel in the shaved mean head of Devin Toner refusing to buckle, ever. And CJ Stander. Revel too in three more years of Joe Schmidt. We are unbeaten against the All Blacks in 2016. Revel.