Saturday 16 December 2017

Twitter goes bonkers for Irish victory

Bernard Brogan and Brian O’Driscoll celebrate Ireland’s win at Soldier Field against the All Blacks
Bernard Brogan and Brian O’Driscoll celebrate Ireland’s win at Soldier Field against the All Blacks

Grainne Loughran

Social media sites were flooded with messages of joy to celebrate Ireland's historic 40-29 win over New Zealand on Saturday evening, with armchair commentators and global figures alike tweeting their support.

Former Irish rugby players Brian O'Driscoll and Ronan O'Gara were joined by the likes of US Vice President Joe Biden and Harry Potter author JK Rowling tweeting their congratulations to the Irish team.

Ronan O’Gara and Dan Carter
Ronan O’Gara and Dan Carter

O'Driscoll praised scrum-half Conor Murray's performance, posting: "To a man we were brilliant but Conor Murray once again was ridiculous!"

O'Gara wrote about the "accuracy" and "intensity" of the match, as well as his wish to still be able to don the green jersey. "Oh to be an Irish rugby player today.. what a are some warriors..get up ye boyos.. gutted to be missing the session in Chicago," he said.

Former England international Andy Goode praised the Irish side warmly. "All Warren Gatland has to do is pick that Irish team for the Lions Official and it'll be 3-0 to us. Congrats Ireland some achievement!"

Taoiseach Enda Kenny was also in celebratory form and hopeful that the win may bode better things for his home-county. "Chicago Cubs win after 108 years. Ireland win after 111 years. Mayo to win after 66 years. Let's do it lads."

New Zealand tweeters were less happy with Ireland's win, but former New-Zealand fly-half Dan Carter took a humorous approach, posting a dejected photo of himself with a joyful Ronan O'Gara under the caption: "Someone's happy & it's not me."

Mr Biden tweeted his well wishes to Rob Kearney, a distant cousin who he met while visiting Ireland earlier this year. "Congrats to cousin Rob Kearney on behalf of the Bidens. History made again in Chicago."

Bookies were the biggest losers

The bookmakers were the biggest losers of the Ireland-New Zealand rugby match on Saturday.

One punter netted €2,160 having placed €180 on Joe Schmidt's side to win at 11/1.

The long odds didn't deter punters from betting on an Irish win, and more than 31,000 bets were made.

"We're paying out with a smile but we've absolutely been taken to the cleaners by the punters," said a Paddy Power spokesman.

Liam Glynn from Boylesports said: "November 5, 2016, is a day we won't forget for a long time."

Technical glitches spoiled show for some

Fans flocked to their local pubs to watch Ireland's historic win, as RTÉ did not have the rights to broadcast it.

It was shown on subscription channels Eir Sport 2 and BT Sport - but even then, some Eir customers reported glitches with the streaming service.

"A significant number of our Eir Sport customers enjoyed a historic Irish sporting occasion," said a spokesperson for Eir Sport. "We are looking into a technical problem which affected a very small number of customers. We repeated the game free to air on our Eir Sport 1 channel."

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