The Haka, there is something truly special, unique and inspirational about that display.
It turns faces to the colour of paper or toilet roll, and it lets everybody know that this is a nation that intend to do battle.
Gladiator’s intent on giving their all for their tradition, bodies, souls and no uncertainty as to the inevitable war that will ensue.
Their ritualistic dance of passion is followed by Irelands call.
It’s very easy for me to say how ridiculous I think that song is, to pontificate about all its misgivings but time has made me think.
I watched the game with one eye on Saturday evening, my ambivalence clearly on display as the pub in Tallaght erupted without me.
Celebrations, high 5’s and utter euphoria as Ireland beat those Haka calling madmen.
It made me think, again and again, in fact that night in my mind was occupied with thoughts.
I went to a friends 40th afterwards, a man that I had visited and was released from Port Laoise Gaol but a few short months ago.
I wished him well and went home early.
I couldn’t stop thinking of that dance and Irelands answer to it.
I thought of the football game on the Thursday that preceded it, the division, the tribes, and the hostility.
Why was rugby so different I thought as I struggled to sleep.
Again I can tell you how ridiculous I think Phil Coulters song is but I wont, you probably know that already.
Can I bring you back to the football game for a moment, our anthem that we put so much into was sang by one or two.
The rest, either couldn’t be bothered, didn’t know the words or were not Irish at all.
Rugby seems to unify our people but football divides.
I slept poorly that night, I just couldn’t fathom why.
Sell outs singing shoulder to shoulder or something else.
Perhaps we missed something, after all if and when we achieve a United Ireland should it be to throw 2 fingers at the polar politicians.
You see the meaning is in the word, United.
God knows how many patriots have dies for this land, small and fragile, young and old.
The road that Sinn Fein went down was tantamount to treachery, I’m not trying to suggest it was anything else.
To sell volunteers, that gave everything, down a muddied path will never be forgotten.
I could go on and on about their failings.
I won’t, not this time.
To those that say Brits out can I say that yes I agree, the British should be ousted and leave with an apology, their tail between their imperialist legs and never return.
But the reality is a different story entirely.
The Brits out mentality doesn’t factor in the ones that wore Green and cheered on a national team on Saturday.
Yes we are all keeping an eye on Brexit but why.
So the British fall over themselves, buying and selling votes to the highest bidder.
If we are relying on Downing street or the house of Commons to deliver us Irish unity we truly are slaves.
Yes master, let me fetch you something master.
Not on my watch, not for Ireland.
To want something aspirational is commendable, to deliver, or strive to, is where it really is.
So can we take rugby as an example of a nation coming together or will we stick to the mantra, the dogma.
I remember somebody once said to me, what would Bobby Sands make of all this.
I truly have no idea was the answer, then I paused and replied again, what about Pearse, McIlwee, and McSwinney.
Did they not fight and die too.
Apologies, I got distracted, so patriotic I almost typed Amhrain Na Bhfiann.
I saw the rugby, a nation, a terrible song and some Irish warriors too.
I saw the football, the superstars that couldn’t point out Ireland on a map.
Before you answer the improbable think of the impossible.
It kept me up all night and in a perverse way I hope it does you.
⏩ Conor Lynam is a campaigner with the IRPWA