Ireland count the cost of bruising All-Blacks battle
The Irish rugby team are bearing the battle scars from yesterday’s desperately unlucky defeat to New Zealand, with two players ruled out of the final test next weekend.
Ireland’s pride isn’t the only thing that’s hurting after a terribly unlucky and some would say unjust 22-19 defeat to the All-Blacks in Christchurch yesterday, with Jamie Heaslip and Gordon D’Arcy both picking up injuries that have ruled them out of the rest of the tour.
Not long after feeling the full force of Richie McCaw’s knees into his back, D’Arcy had to leave the fray with an unrelated calf injury while Heaslip, who was immense on the occasion of his 50th cap, suffered a fractured index finger on his right hand.
The Leinster number eight managed to solider on for the full 80 minutes yesterday, but he will not be fit to play in the final test next Saturday morning.
Paddy Wallace will fly to New Zealand as a replacement for D’Arcy, but with sufficient cover amongst the squad in the back row positions, no replacement will be called on to cover Heaslip’s absence. Mercifully for Ireland, both Mike Ross and Brian O’Driscoll have been given the all clear after picking up facial injuries during what was a hugely physical contest.
Heaslip and D’Arcy join the likes of Paul O’Connell, Stephen Ferris and Tommy Bowe on Ireland’s lengthy injury list at the moment, although Keith Earls could return to feature in the third test.
The absence of so many key players makes the task of finally getting one over on the All-Blacks night on impossible next weekend, but similar sentiments were being issued ahead of yesterday’s encounter in Christchurch and look what happened.
We’ll get you some day New Zealand, we’ll get you some day.