Johnny Sexton’s final press-conference for Ireland is a tough watch
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Ireland’s Rugby World Cup campaign once again ended at the quarter-final stages last night despite a valiant effort against the All Blacks in Paris.
The three-time champions came roaring out of the blocks last night and looked up for the fight from a minute the whistle was blown, taking a 13-0 lead after just 20 minutes.
But Ireland fought back with two tries of their own through Bundee Aki and Jamison Gibson-Park on either side of an Ardie Savea try to reduce the gap to just one point at half-time.
A Will Jordan try on 53 minutes though proved to be crucial despite Ireland getting a penalty try not long after with New Zealand emerging 28-24 winners in the end to break Irish hearts.
The fixture marked Johnny Sexton’s final game for Ireland, and indeed final game as a rugby player at the ripe old age of 38 and his final post-match press conference was a tough watch.
“It’s been a dream come true for all of us, and I include today as well,” Sexton said when asked how he would reflect back on his career with Ireland.
“How can you be prouder to be Irish when you see what’s happened over the last six weeks really? We get behind the team like no other, it’s incredible and it’s not wasted on us.
“That’s why it is so hard to take really, that we didn’t give them another couple of weekends.
But, as Faz said, it’s small margins. That’s sport; that’s life.
“This group will bounce back. They’re an incredible group, led by the man beside me. The best group I have ever been a part of, bar none.
“These guys they will go on and achieve great things, and I’ll be sitting in the stand, having a pint like you lads.”
A brilliant clip has also gone viral of Johnny Sexton with his son after the game that would melt even the coldest of hearts.
Johnny will no doubt have a smile on his face when he looks back and sees his son whisper to him:
“You’re still the best, dad.”
What a player, what a servant, what a role model. Thanks for the memories, Johnny.
“You’re still the best, dad” 💚
— RugbyLAD 🏉 (@RugbyLAD7) October 14, 2023