There was Heartbreak City for a group of Irishmen Down Under yesterday (absolute scenes, by the way), but three years ago this month, it was giants of the southern hemisphere who travelled up this way and plunged Irish sport into despair.
In 26 previous attempts, Ireland's best result against New Zealand was a draw in 1973 which, under rugby's current scoring system, would also have been a defeat. But in 2013 after a Rob Kearney intercept try, a ferocious Ireland led the All Blacks 19-0 after 25 minutes in Dublin, and seemed destined to put to bed the longest-running hoodoo in Irish sport.
Of course, we should have known better.
The man who broke Irish hearts that fateful day, Crusaders midfield back Ryan Crotty, was speaking to the media in Chicago yesterday. Quizzed by The42.ie's Sean Farrell about 'that' try, his response was relatively magnanimous. "I was hoping you’d ask about that," the 28-year-old joked.
I’ve pretty much had to apologise to every Irishman I’ve met since that day.
It was a special moment for me and our team. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to score another try on Saturday. For me it was a very special moment. I was just happy to let the All Blacks be successful.
Presumably Crotty means he'd be lying if he said he wasn't going to try to score another try on Saturday, but then, this New Zealand crop is in record-breaking form; indeed, they can achieve two more all-time records in Chicago should they steamroll Ireland as many expect they will.
It remains to be seen who will be Ireland's last line of defence in the Windy City, but one Irish player with whom Crotty is more than familiar is Ulster back Jared Payne.
"I played with Payno back at the Crusaders; crikey, that's going back eight or nine years," he says, per The Examiner.
It'd be cool to catch up with him. He's been in contact, so we might get a chance to meet up before the weekend.
It'd be awesome to lock horns. It's always a good battle going up against your opposite number, so hopefully I'll get a chance to play against him.
He was a real smart ass back in the day. He played full-back, so he was always chipping at the midfielders telling us to pass it.
The pair will in all likelihood seek to chip away at each other once more at Soldier Field at 9pm this Saturday.