For the second World Cup in a row, Irish rugby fans have been one of the highlights of the tournament off the pitch. The fervent support and atmosphere created by our fans reminded everyone of how great a World Cup held on these shores would be.
The noise that Irish fans created - even in games that didn't involve Ireland - didn't go unnoticed, and we were even part of a record crowd for a Rugby World Cup attendance. It was so grand that one All Black paid them a great tribute on twitter.
Irish fans came from everywhere and anywhere to make the pilgrimage to follow Schmidt's men. That the tournament was only across the Irish sea doesn't do justice for the sacrifice that Irish fans have gone just to be there.
They travelled to Cardiff, even when there weren't places to stay. They were forced to get creative if they couldn't afford the £1,000 a night hotel rooms.
They negotiated endless queues and train problems to get to Cardiff in the first place. This was the scene last week in London as fans tried to get to Cardiff:
That's not even the worst of the queues:
— Adrian Rutherford (@arutherfordNI) October 11, 2015
Irish fans had to deal with a near collapse of the English rail system, as they were wholly unprepared for the sheer magnitude of Irish rugby fans that were to pass through on their way to Cardiff.
— Fintan Gillespie (@fintangillespie) October 11, 2015
It didn't matter how many queues these people had to wait in, they never lost their spirit:
— Bronwyn Lait (@Bronwyn_Apttus) October 18, 2015
Some fans used their brains to avoid those montrous queues:
They travelled all day and all night just to get there. Even staking out in cars when all of the inns were full:
There were even these brave people coming all the way from Australia:
If you think that would cost a lot, what about this guy who had been saving up to buy an engagement ring, only to choose to spend it all on tickets. American Brian Moy had $30,000 saved up, before he broke up with his long term girlfriend. Rather than mope - Moy did what any rugby fan would do - spent it all watching 18 World Cup games including Ireland's final three games:
Irish fans are a special bunch, but sure didn't we know that already?
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