On Saturday morning, world number one-ranked Ireland take on actual world number one New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final.
A year ago, you might have said this would be a clash of the Titans, but at the moment the fixture has more of a David v Goliath vibe about it – if you also add in the variable that poor old David’s slingshottery has been thoroughly shite for quite some time now.
All things considered, Ireland probably won’t win, despite beating the All Blacks in two of their three previous meetings. But if they do, of course, there won’t be a mortgage brokered or a Chateauneuf du Pape left uncorked in newly independent South County Dublin for a month. There’ll be “scenes” all over the southern half of Ireland’s capital – and in some other outlying pockets of “Rugby Country” – that’ll almost certainly run into 2021.
Pure magic. Here’s what you can expect to see if the Green Machine somehow emerges victorious this weekend.
1. Johnny Sexton will get the Freedom of Dublin (4)
Unofficially, it’s an honour he already boasts, but in the aftermath of a victory in Japan you can expect powerful business lobbies from around Dublin’s “leafy suburbs” to have a quiet word in the Lord Mayor’s ear.
Normally those on whom this award is bestowed earn the right to graze sheep in Stephen’s Green – a perk taken up by Bono in recent times – but given the influence of the D4 bloc, it’s likely this privilege will be amended to allow Johnny to plant a high-yielding Pinot Noir vineyard in the middle of Herbert Park.
2. M50 to be renamed the “Garry Ring-road”
For those of you that don’t know, the M50 is an infernal, heaving car park of a motorway that encircles Dublin city.
It was built for the purpose of enabling Rugby Men from places like Dundrum and Foxrock to reach their artisanal farmyard residences in Kildare and Meath without having to look upon or even accept the existence of North Dublin City.
If Ireland win, it’s only right that the godforsaken, gridlocked artery is given a moniker-makeover and re-titled in honour of the Goys in Green’s hunky second-centre.
Ireland beat Russia and are now one game away from the quarter-finals.
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) October 3, 2019
3. National holidays declared in Killiney, Dalkey and Blackrock
Should Ireland make it three from four against New Zealand, the boulevards of SoCoDu will be stacked with lads celebrating wildly into the October night. It will be, of course, absolute carnage.
As a result, several local councils will be forced to divert funds from non-essential services like hospitals and road-maintenance in order to stage a national day of celebration. Rugby Country will grind to a halt as joyful citizens pour out of the boutique estate agencies and the bunting and pageantry get ramped up to 15.
Face-painting and hedge fund-management classes will be laid on for the kids, while the parents content themselves with lively seminars on how to convert a three-bedroom house in Rathmines into a residence for 65 students. It simply doesn’t get any more fun than that.
4. Heinomite supplies to dry up inside the Pale
Despite shipping in thousands of extra kegs of Heineken Premium Brew from Zoeterwoude in the Netherlands, there’s just no way the publicans and tavernistas of south Dublin will be able to keep up with the demand for that sweet, sweet golden honey.
A few minor riots will break out in Donnybrook, but the situation will be largely brought back under control thanks to the import of 240,000 litres of elite-grade prosecco, which will be used to hose down the rioters via specially adjusted Garda Siochana water-cannons.
Under pressure from high-level civil servants, the Taoiseach will be forced to release a statement apologising for the inconvenience and promising to ensure a reserve supply of Heinomite is permanently stored in a bunker on Vico Road and replenished regularly in case of emergency.
5. Proper Football Men forced to go into hiding
Of course, not everyone on the island will be delighted by an Ireland victory at the Ajinomoto Stadium.
Believe it or not, there are a few lunatics dotted throughout the country who aren’t fully on board with the #TeamOfUs. Clearly, these wrong’uns just haven’t bought into the #EveryoneIn ethos – no idea why – and need a bit of re-education.
However, in the absence of any funding in that regard, what with all the Italian sparkling wine seeping into the gutters around the city, it’s far more likely these unfortunates will simply have to disappear from public life in the face of overwhelming Ruggerness.
A small, monastic community will be established on Little Skellig where a strict vow of silence will be observed. The enclave will remain entirely isolated until the Irish football team once again qualify for an international tournament, Antarctica 2042.
6. Gaelic games to be replaced as ‘national sport’
After October’s secession of SoCoDu from the rest of Ireland, the government will have no choice but to act.
In an effort to capitalise on the wave of rugby fever sweeping across the nation, the Minister of Sport (subsequently the Minister of Rugby) will take the difficult decision to pull down the shutters on the Gaelic Athletic Association and enshrine rugby as the national sport in the Constitution.
Many in Rugby Country will express surprise upon hearing of the GAA’s existence for the first time but will welcome the change, while most former Gaels will react with indifference to the news, with a prominent commentator declaring: “Sure the game’s gone anyway, thanks to Dublin and their bloody financial doping. From a personal point of view, I’m looking forward to scrummaging down with a few knock-ons over the coming years.”
7. Hell to freeze over
Because, let’s be honest: New Zealand are going to f*cking destroy us.