Peter O'Mahony a Third test doubt, Garry Ringrose out and Harry Byrne flying home
Just in case you were getting carried away...
Peter O'Mahony may well have rode off into the Kiwi sunset with one of the all-time killer lines.
Heading to New Zealand at the end of a long season, particularly for the Leinster players that went deep in both competitions, for a five-game tour was always going to be attritional. Andy Farrell would have hoped it did not have to be so damned attritional.
The great news from Saturday in Dunedin is that Ireland rumbled the All Blacks to win 23-12 and tee-up a series decider in Wellington, next weekend.
The downside is Garry Ringrose is definitely out after getting a hefty blow to the head, and not returning to the game, in a collision that saw the All Blacks reduced to 14 men. Harry Byrne's hamstring woes have seen him not feature on the pitch, and he is flying home. Ciarán Frawley is set to start at 10 against Maori All Blacks, on Tuesday.
And then there is Peter O'Mahony. After his latest epic outing against New Zealand, Irish supporters would be rapt to see how he fares in that series decider. However, he left the game with four minutes to play and is now considered a doubt for the Third Test.
If this is to be the last dance of O'Mahony in New Zealand, what a performance to deliver and what a final line to be picked up by the referee microphone.
Moments after playing a vital stopping-block role in preventing a late All Blacks try, O'Mahony traded some verbals with their captain, Sam Cane. The referee mic reportedly picked up the following rejoinder:
"Who do you think you are? You’re a shit Richie McCaw, pal!"
That was the last action and interaction of Peter O'Mahony's night at Forsyth Barr Stadium. Gum-shield take out for the barbing session with Cane, it remained out as he headed for the sidelines.
Despite the late knock(s) he took, O'Mahony looked in good spirits after the game, as Irish players stayed out on the field to soak up the victory.
Having enjoyed good times and endured tough times against New Zealand, with Ireland and the Lions, this was a sweet night for the Munster captain to bask in.