THE FAKE FIRS popped up all over Carton House while the hotel’s regular residents spent the weekend beating the back-to-back world champions.
The imposing garlands and numerous Christmas trees weren’t exactly going to dampen down the festive feel after Ireland made another bit of history with a first home win over New Zealand.
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Iain Henderson speaking at Carton House this afternoon. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO
Yet, there was a touch of the hangover feel around the Maynooth grounds too. After the heady highs of Saturday, media inquiries leaned into a sort of fear befitting the morning-after-the-night-before.
Fear for how Ireland can cope with the pressure of being top of the rugby… erm, tree. Fear for how they can back up Saturday’s performance and fear of how sickening it might feel if all this were to add up to another World Cup quarter-final exit.
Obviously, the mood was quite different from a player’s perspective, who are not built to be so fatalistic or pessimistic when there is so much to play for.