Tuesday started out quite badly. Peter O'Mahony was already gone and confirmation emerged of the true extent of Paul O'Connell's injury. We knew it was coming but it was still horrible to hear. Nonetheless, things began to pick up slightly. The unconfirmed update on Johnny Sexton was positive and eventually Sean O'Brien learned that he would be banned for one game.
That's not ideal but at the same time, it's certainly not as bad as it may have been. It was a two week ban mitigated down to one thanks to previous good behaviour. It's something Ireland would take, probably.
After they get the written judgement, the Irish management have 48 hours to lodge an appeal. They have so far refused to disclose whether that is an option but it seems unlikely. As things stand, we're heading to face Argentina without the Tullow Tank. What of Sexton though?
Speaking on Tuesday evening, defence coach Les Kiss was the one to deliver the all important update.
Johnny has a slight adductor strain, there has been some improvement. Hopefully we'll see a little bit more tomorrow and that will give us a clearer picture.
Unlike, the group stage, it seems Joe Schmidt will be slightly more pragmatic when it comes to injuries. It had been the case that if a player hadn't trained fully during the week, they weren't in the team for the weekend. That was alright for Canada and Romania though. When asked whether they would take a chance on an 80/20 call, Kiss confirmed those percentages are pretty much on the money where they're at at the moment.
It's a good question because that's the one we'll face. Where that medical information comes back to us, what information Johnny gives us, that'll give us the clues.
Knockout maybe changes the shape of your thinking perhaps, but we have to be pragmatic about what works. It will probably come down to the last minute when we make that decision.
Whether 80/20 is positive enough for Schmidt to make the call to play Sexton remains to be seen. And while Ian Madigan would appear to be an able deputy after his performance against France, the loss of O'Connell, O'Mahony and O'Brien means the loss of another leader may just force Schmidt's hand to make a call he wouldn't have earlier in the tournament.