Ireland 15 - 10 South Africa
Ireland vs South Africa at Croke Park was heralded as one of the more mouthwatering fixtures of the Autumn International calendar, and so it proved. However the South African's palates weren't quite prepared to sample the traditional Irish pea-souper that welcomed them to the home of Gaelic sport.
South Africa's stand-off Morne Steyn seemed perplexed as to why his long range kicks failed to fight their way through the thick Dublin air and repeatedly fell short. It's not quite the same as banging them over from 70 metres in South Africa's high veldt, eh Morne?
Luckily for Ireland, Steyn's opposite number Jonny Sexton lived up to his hype and tucked in to score all of Ireland's 15 points.
Jonny be very good
I enjoyed this game and it was definitely one of the better outings of the November internationals.
Ireland started off a bit wonky in the scrum with the might of the Boks powering them backwards, and the Saffas had pretty much all of the territory for the first quarter. Ireland fought back to regain their grip on the territory battle, their line out functioned well, and fortunately we didn't have much in the line of aimless kicking to endure. This was probably a good thing, as the swirling fog that rested over the top of Croke Park like a frothy head on a pint of Guinness made it difficult to pick out any balls that were sent into orbit. Not that it was a problem for Man of the Match Rob Kearney who had another storming performance at fullback.
The only try of the game came when Mr. Popular (aka Schalk Burger) burst through the Irish defence to score. Unsurprisingly he was greeted with boos from the partisan Croke Park crowd when he booted the ball into the stand. Well, really Schalk - what did you expect?
So Ireland end 2009 unbeaten having claimed the scalp of the World and Tri-Nations champions. Not a bad effort at all, even if the manky Dublin weather did turn out for them as the 16th man.
Ireland for the World Cup in 2011? It's looking increasingly likely at this rate.