Rugby World Cup: All Blacks, Ireland fans ride rollercoaster of emotion during nervewracking quarter-final

For 83 minutes, the All Black's littlest biggest fan was all of us, as two-year-old Marlow brought the early excitement.

He celebrated the tries and he battled with his nerves, as the score crept ever closer, which made his team's World Cup victory over Ireland victory that much sweeter. 

This was the best night of the young Cantabrian's life, but this was entertainment for all ages. 

Two-year-old Marlow and Irish fans ride the World Cup rollercoaster.
Two-year-old Marlow and Irish fans ride the World Cup rollercoaster. Photo credit: Newshub

The game hadn’t even started yet and New Zealanders were stress eating, while the Irish arrived with proud predictions at the ready.

Easy, they reckoned.  

The favourites had turned up - dressed up and fired up - but it was the Kiwis who were points up within minutes.  

The score gave occasional hints as to who would triumph on the day, but the Irish, they are no quitters. 

The fans took turns looking away and praying to Webb Ellis, until the four-leaf clover finally fell New Zealand's way. 

It is a bitter blow for the world No.1, reopening the wounds of their 2019 exit, but the friendship between nations has endured and loyalties have been swiftly realigned for games ahead. 

For a World Cup quarter-final, it was a hell of grand one. 

Join Newshub at 8am Saturday for live updates of the All Blacks v Argentina World Cup semi-final