England pour water on Irish Six Nations hopes

stadium blog

 The teams line up for the national anthems at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday; the scoreboard in the background shows 0-0, which was as good as things got for Ireland on the day

It’s not as if a drop of rain is unexpected in these parts, but the all-day downpour that hit Dublin on Sunday was biblical even by Irish standards. Not that England’s rugby fans minded, as their team ground Ireland into the Aviva Stadium mud – and with it in all likelihood their Six Nations title hopes for another year – with a 12-6 win. That this was the lowest scoring game in Six Nations history was no surprise, with the handling efforts of Ireland’s forwards in particular making the ball appear like a bar of wet soap.

Disappointing as the game was, the real action on rugby weekends takes place off the pitch. Among the English guests in town to test out Dublin’s reputation for top-class rugby hospitality were Scorpio’s Stuart McGuire and Richard Kennedy, and The Moodie Report’s own Bob Wilby and his wife Tarn.

rugby 2 blog

All smiles during the pre-match warm-up…

rugby england fans blog

… but it was England’s fans (including Messrs Kennedy and McGuire) who were celebrating later

Among the Irish escorts on a two-day safari through Dublin’s night spots were Barry Global Innovation’s Barry Geoghegan (a supreme organiser-in-chief), Mark and David van den Bergh of Max Benjamin candles, David Spillane of Travel Retail Sales and The Moodie Report’s Dermot Davitt.

From Johnnie Foxes bar atop the Dublin mountains (said to be Ireland’s highest pub) on a memorable Saturday to Doheny & Nesbitt’s famed hostelry in the city many hours after the game – plus too many points in between to mention – the ‘craic’ was mighty, the pints creamy and the food (including a new discovery, the Breakfast Blaa) excellent.

The Irish did achieve one distinction, out-staying the English visitors on Sunday night, as the very best hosts do. Or so we hear: The Moodie Report’s correspondent was safely tucked up in bed by then, worn out by the excitement of another rugby day to savour.

 dinner rugby blog

In the fine company of the ladies and gentlemen of Setanta Sports and West Cork Whiskey on Sunday night in Dublin

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