Ireland have created history. Today's match between Ireland and New Zealand was the most highly anticipated clash of the year, the meeting of the top two sides in world rugby. Whatever the expectations were before kick-off, they were exceeded.
It was an incredible game, with some of the most heroic performances ever seen in an Ireland rugby jersey. Peter O'Mahony was out of this world, with a number of key contributions in defence. It seemed at one stage he was finished, that his body had given up. He got up and made a try-saving interception two minutes later.
When he was subbed off with 10 minutes to go, the reception he received told you all you needed to know about his performance. O'Mahony watched on for the closing stages, and his teammates finished the job. 16-9, Ireland win.
The Munster man was named as man-of-the-match, and his post-match interview was exactly what you would expect.
"It's a big piece of history for us, it's one we wanted to tick off in Ireland. Happy days." https://t.co/0IMitsIxQF #RTErugby pic.twitter.com/JIL2fUaNLt
— RTÉ Rugby (@RTErugby) November 17, 2018
We knew we had to be relentless, they're not number one in the world for the craic, they're the best team in the world. We knew we probably had to play of the best game of this squads tenure, and it was well up with one of the best.
This is a big piece of history for us, one we wanted to tick off in Ireland, and we've ticked it off now so happy days.
Happy days indeed. O'Mahony's persona in post-match interviews is wildly different from that on the pitch. In between the white lines he is a warrior, leading this Ireland team both vocally and by example. When he speaks afterwards he is calm, collected, and understated.
That sums up this Ireland team as a whole as well. Joe Schmidt has built something special, and Irish rugby has never been in a better place. Heading into a World Cup year, the timing could not have been better.