Sporting Advent Calendar #23: Ireland beat France, and the week that followed

A look back in tweets at a crucial win but a week to forget overall for Irish rugby

Ireland captain Paul O’Connell is taken from the field against France. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ireland captain Paul O’Connell is taken from the field against France. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

 

Tweets guide us back through a calamitous week. Friday: Jared Payne has a swollen foot. Saturday morning (Captain’s Run): further scans of Payne foot reveal fracture. A mournful O’Driscoll labels him “the glue.”

Sunday (Ireland v France): Sexton is in trouble. Sexton is ended by Picamoles. O’Connell looks done.

Half-time. Get up, twice, can’t hold his weight. Stretcher for O’Connell. O’Mahony is down. O’Mahony is gone.

Monday: Sean O’Brien cited for punching Pascal Pape. 1pm London on Black Tuesday: all joy following French victory sucked out of World Cup by O’Connell’s confirmed demise.

O’Brien suspension confirmed at 8pm. Dark night in Cardiff. Go see Sicario in cinema. Benicio Del Toro’s last line in movie to Emily Blunt: “You should move to a small town, somewhere the rule of law still exists. You will not survive here. You are not a wolf, and this is a land of wolves now.”

Three Irish alphas are maimed. At least we hear Johnny Sexton will be fit to play. Wednesday: a blur. Thursday: O’Brien hearing report reveals the extent to which Pape (“I received a violent punch..I couldn’t breath..”) and French doctor went to ensure suspension as Ireland’s QC proves there was no intent.

Friday: Sexton is fit. Hope (despite no Luke Skywalker in Star Wars trailer). Saturday lunch time: after a swell of rumours, Sexton’s ruled out of Sunday’s quarter-final.

“A very minor adductor” strain is enough to rule him out of the biggest game of his life. Saturday night: a magical All Black performance at the Millennium stadium. Mopeds against Ferraris, as one French scribe puts it. 62-13. Savea. Retallick. Monsters of men.

Few Sunday tweets as Ireland are completely overrun. Monday: regret, ruin and a very quiet Richmond as World Cup semi-final week begins in an Argentinean steak house. Few scribblers remain.

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