After the visceral thrill of Cardiff came last night’s torment in Warsaw.
Talismans Johnny Sexton, Paul O’Connell, and Peter O’Mahony all suffered injury, while man of the match Sean O’Brien could be cited for an off-the-ball punch.
“Paul is the one who worries me most,” Schmidt said. “It doesn’t look great with Paul. It’s an upper hamstring. We’ll wait until Monday for the scan and the inflammation to go down.”
On the O’Brien incident, Schmidt added: “He was being held at the time. He swung but I don’t think he was looking directly at the player.”
For Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland, the purgatory of the play-offs loom for place at the Euro 2016 finals in France. A 2-1 loss last night in Polandconsigned the boys in green to two-legged torment in November. Possible opponents include Ukraine, Croatia, Denmark, and Sweden.
No such logistical complications for Irish rugby hordes. They’ve Cardiff on speed dial at this stage.
Momentarily, though, everyone draws breath as 55,000 Irish fans troop home tormented yet thrilled. With fresh horses and replenished supplies, they’ll rejoin the battle.
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