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Damien Blanch's Rugby League World Cup blog

Updated: Saturday, 09 Nov 2013 15:30 | Comments

Ireland's Damien Blanch prepares to tackle Ryan Hall (right) of England during their Rugby League World Cup clash
Ireland's Damien Blanch prepares to tackle Ryan Hall (right) of England during their Rugby League World Cup clash

By Damien Blanch

I'm sorry but my last diary never made it to the printer on time!

So quickly, our match against Fiji didn’t go exactly to plan. We had our game plan, which for the majority of the match we stuck to; however, in the end they were just too strong.

In saying that we learned a lot about ourselves, and how we wanted to go forward from there.

After the game we had a great night. We had seven players make their debut for Ireland v Fiji so keeping with tradition, they had to sing a song in front of the boys. It was a great night, and they're a great bunch of lads; however, I doubt any of them will be winning X Factor any time soon.

Personally, I had a crazy week, having to make a quick trip to Perpignan via Paris and Manchester.

My wife had a baby girl a couple of weeks before the World Cup and as we're moving to Australia after the tournament, I had to fly back to Perpignan to sign documents to get my daughter's Australian passport. 

So, after 24 hours, three flights, two trains, taxis, buses and three hours sleep, I got my daughter's passport so it was worth the trip!

Next we had England. Once again we had a game plan going into the game; however, as everyone witnessed, for a 25-minute period we lost control of the game which in the end put us on the wrong end of a big scoreline.

As a team, we thought that our second half performance was much better. For 50 minutes we only conceded 12 points, which, against a full strength England team is something we were proud of.

Since then we have flown to Limerick where we have been preparing for tonight's match against Australia.

Had a great time with the boys going karting, training at UCLAN, where we had a few games of basketball, indoor football and a few ice-bath sessions. Also in true Irish style, we snuck in a few Guinness as well.

It's such a beautiful city, full of passionate, kind and supportive Irish people. Couldn’t think of a better place to play the biggest and last professional game of my career!

There is no doubt that we will be giving it our all and hope to receive the same ongoing support we have had since day one of this competition.

If you have any questions or comments for any of the lads ask me on Twitter at @damienblanch2 and I'll get back to you in the next player's diary edition!

Thanks!

Damo

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