I wouldn’t be renowned for my rugby expertise, but it was so satisfying to sit down last Saturday and enjoy the feast of autumn internationals – culminating in events at Lansdowne Road. There’s been a notable hiatus of quality sport to enjoy on TV or talk about on the high stool, since the earlier finish to the GAA championships over two months ago. So the autumn tests bring a timely warmth and colour to the dark and wet November days.
Ireland stuttered in defeating erstwhile nemeses Argentina, not helped by the injuries to Kieran Marmion and Sean O’Brien. You have to feel desperate for O’Brien, just back from one injury and “bang” – he breaks his arm. What rotten luck. Ireland won pulling up, but looking at the players faces leaving the pitch you wouldn’t have thought so. It just shows how far we have advanced under Joe Schmidt, where a win like this would be picked at for the mistakes. He has indicated the he will soon decide on his future after the 2019 world cup.