This time we were out numbered, probably 5-1, the bars were heaving and Irish were poured out on to the streets, we did have our little Welsh corner of Wellington at the Dragon Bar, but there was an endless cue to get inside.
I braved a night in an Irish bar to hear endless renditions of 'Fields of Athenry', friendly banter, Irish jig'ging and made numerous deals that if Ireland won we support them to the final, and the Irish will do the same in return... so that's another 25,000 supporters for us against the French this weekend then!!
Again it was slightly unnerving on match day to be massively outnumbered by a mass of green, our Camp Ground with a sea view (the harbour's Pay and Display Car Park) was full of green flags and Irish in great spirits, the few scattered Welsh did our best to splash red in wherever we could!
At 10am we went for a hearty breakfast; the most important way to start any match day, and the several Irish bars in the city were already full and bursting at the seam... we always knew the Irish could party but this was an eye opener. Finally kick off drew closer and it was time for the 'Walk to the Stadium Walk' in amongst thousands of Irish in full voice and a few scattered Aussies who clearly didn't expect the Irish to finish top of their group, we had renditions of 'Wales.. Wales.. Wales' for equal measure.
We took our seats in with a row of Welsh from Tondu, and some Aussies who were Welsh for the day. The atmosphere was electric, even before the boys came on to the pitch there was goose bumps, big smiles and conversations along the lines of 'can you imagine'... 'unbelievable if we did'... 'so proud'.
The boys ran out to a deafening roar, I was at the Millennium when we played Ireland for the 2005 Grand Slam and dare I say this was more intense, more exciting and more satisfying!! After three minutes, Shane scored, we erupted... screaming, hugging, and high fiving, no one knew each other before kick off but after that try and the remainder of that game we were the best of mates... we'd been through everything together.
Our defence was outstanding and with every hit that sent an Irish player backwards we erupted as if it was another seven pointer for us.
It took a long time to leave the stadium after the game, who would want to leave?? Everyone descended down to the front few rows to congratulate the boys on their lap, sing ALL our songs and hug just about everyone wearing red!! A few grown men had tears in their eyes and everyone was smiling and 'walking on air' as some described it, an unforgettable feeling that will never be forgotten!!
A slightly sombre Irish mass made their way back into town and to a man each of them we spoke to couldn't praise our boys enough and conceded that we were the best team; and that England's exit to France was some consolidation to them.
One thing noticeable is how the press interpret the team's down here, England has been rinsed for their performance on the pitch and behaviour off it, French tactics laughable and Australia and South Africa can't do anything right and with NZ injuries the country might just implode... but Wales have slipped by under the radar, with respect and utter professionalism... now they're taking notice and can't praise our boys highly enough, the daily talk shows, newspaper columns and radio phone-ins are genuinely excited and pleased for Wales to be here, we've been branded as the best defence and attack and most exciting of the tournament so far and it seems everyone is getting right behind us... and what great place to be.
It's going to be another long long week and a nerve wracking weekend.
Yours in rugby, and a croak in calon lan