We can safely say that last weekend saw some gloom lift from the country with the brilliant win by our international rugby team in Cardiff. Taking the Six Nations trophy and beating Wales on their own soil was a wonderful outcome.
It is a fantastic stadium in Cardiff for such an occasion and the Welsh fans by all accounts treated their Irish counterparts very well after the victory.
Tickets were at a premium but some local fans made it over there for the historic day. We could extend congratulations from our local councils and perhaps invite some team representatives to Waterford in the year ahead, once the Munster and Leinster European Cup games are out of the way.
The Bowe connection with Waterford is strong, the scorer of the winning try is a true hero and perhaps a special invitation to him could be considered. Born in Monaghan but with a Waterford father, he plays for Ulster and had a great campaign playing strong roles especially against France and England. Strong running and good tackling are his hall marks.
Well done to the team on having done Ireland proud and they will now go down in the history books. It makes up for the disappointment of the last World Cup in France, when we were well favoured.
Declan Kidney is a great manager and coach in a low key and effective way. Captain Brian O’Driscoll, Paul O’Connell in the forwards and Ronan O’Gara with his heart-stopping dropped goal, are etched in our collective memory.
We were at the last Grand Slam finale against England when we were wiped off the field, and it was wonderful this time to have a positive outcome.
Further success on the soccer front against Bulgaria this weekend and away to Italy may see another World Cup finals qualification for next year.