Ireland have been left contemplating what might have been after their failure to locate a four leaf clover to appease the leprechaun they’d made a deal with to win the game meant that their run of bad luck against the All Blacks continued as the tourists stormed to a 24 – 22 come from behind win at Aviva Stadium.
Irish coach, New Zealand born Joe Schmidt, revealed before the game that he’d done a deal with a leprechaun before the match in order to give the home side the extra spark they needed to record an historic win against the All Blacks. The leprechaun had only one request, the Irish needed to find him a four leaf clover before the match finished otherwise he’d see that the the luck of the Irish was no more.
The leprechaun kept his part of the deal, spurring Ireland on to a commanding 19 – 0 lead inside the first quarter. However, on noticing that Schmidt had not assigned any of his reserves to scour the field at Aviva Stadium for any four clovers, reminded them of his power to influence the result by having Aaron Cruden put a deft kick in behind the Irish line that said Julian Savea score his 19th try in 20 tests. In response, Schmidt ordered his medical staff and water boys to start the search for the elusive plant.
“We were hoping that the leprechaun would have just forgotten about the deal,” Schmidt said after the match. “We gave him a keg of Guinness, a sack of potatoes and were pretty sure that the roaring of the crowd would keep him distracted until after the full time whistle. But the leprechaun let in that Savea try, we started shitting ourselves.
“I mean, do you know how hard it is to find a four leaf clover? I looked for a handful of minutes as a child and never found one.”
As the All Blacks comeback mounted in the second half, Schmidt was forced to substitute the talismanic Brian O’Driscoll to join in the search. “We figured if anyone could find the clover, it’d be Brian. Nobody has wanted to beat the All Blacks more, but all Brian did was sit on the sidelines and hold his head in his hands. What was with that?”
When Jonathan Sexton missed a handy penalty to the right of the posts, Schmidt himself came down to the sidelines to plead with the leprechaun, “I begged him,” Schmidt said, “I said we’d find him as many four leaf clovers as he wanted if he let us hold on, but he wouldn’t have a bar of it. His just gave me the middle finger salute, chuckled to himself and vanished without a trace. Next thing I knew, Ryan Crotty was scoring and our luck was over.”
Schmidt went on to concede that, “In retrospect, we probably should have put more effort into closing out the game to prevent the All Blacks coming back rather than making deals with leprechauns. But at least the people of Ireland might finally get over that who Umaga/Mealamu tackle on Brian and so they can focus on complaining about this instead.”