Saturday 21 October 2017

Joe Schmidt and Jamie Heaslip hail ‘humbling’ Irish support at Wembley as world record is broken

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt, left, and Eoin Reddan, Ireland, ahead of the game. 2015 Rugby World Cup, Pool D, Ireland v Romania, Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London, England. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt, left, and Eoin Reddan, Ireland, ahead of the game. 2015 Rugby World Cup, Pool D, Ireland v Romania, Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London, England. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Tom Rooney

Joe Schmidt and Jamie Heaslip have lauded the vociferous Irish fans who packed out Wembley Stadium for their support during today’s 44-10 victory over Romania.

Speaking to TV3 after a second bonus victory in as many weeks, coach Schmidt and captain for the day Heaslip praised all the Irish in attendance for their unwavering support this afternoon and over the last month.

Heaslip admitted that the burly Romanians had proven to be difficult opponents, but having the largely Irish crowd at their back had provided an extra impetus.

“Romania made us work for it but we’re really glad to come away with the win.  From last week to this week, the support has been amazing, and to have this 90k plus stadium filled out by Irish supporters has been humbling,” he said.

Schmidt echoed the number eight’s sentiments and went on to say that, after Ireland had emptied their bench, there were elements of the performance that will need addressing, particularly the concession of a try late on.

“Arriving at the stadium the support was unbelievable,” he enthused. “There were red seats but it was mostly green, and the volume was great and certainly encouraged the guys to show their best side and I think they did that at times today.

“The try at the end was disappointing, because we wanted to keep them scoreless. We got a bit disorganised when the game went on and we made some substitutions.”

The throngs of Ireland fans in London today have broken a world record, with the 89,267 attendance in Wembley officially the highest ever for a rugby Test match.

The 89,014 who watched New Zealand beat Argentina at this venue last weekend was a record for the Rugby World Cup before the Irish invasion today.

Ireland fans celebrated the announcement with a rousing rendition of Ole Ole Ole before starting a Mexican Wave.

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