Of course, he’s still reporting on, and commentating on the final group matches, then the quarters, semis and the final, but he’s now a COMPLETELY neutral observer.And now where was that better demonstrated when we arrived at our hotel which was awash with both the Pakastani and Irish teams and their supporters, and with the delightful WAGS of the Irish team holding court with copious glasses of bubbles. Both teams were very relaxed, mixing easily and posing for photos with supporters – no air of special treatment or tension around them at all.

There’s also the small matter of my day job to return to. We had a last, lingering breakfast on the beach at Manly.

Latest did a final round of radio reporting, bidding farewell to the England team as they made their way home from the World Cup, then it was another flight (8th for me, 14th for Jonathan) and back to Adelaide.

For those of you who doubt my journalistic integrity when it comes to reporting the state of Latest’s attire, I managed to take a sneaky shot of him in transit. The odd thing about England being knocked out of the competition is that a lot of pressure eases from Jonathan’s shoulders.

There was a rare old party going on including much alcohol, Irish music, jigging and rubbish being talked but everything stopped to give the team a rapturous round of applause when they arrived back at the hotel having given their best.

Today has been spent packing – me for home and Latest for Sydney and the quarter finals.

I’m looking forward to being back; youngest son Tom has his 21st birthday party next week and the final preparations are needed.

Also, I’m really missing my spoilt cocker spaniel Tino, although I know he’s being beautifully cared for by our good friend Carolyn.

It’s been hectic but fun; new friends have been made and old ones revisited.

I’ve enjoyed new experiences, and eaten and drunk too much good food and wine.

But you know what it’s like at the end of a holiday; when you’re going home, you just want to BE at home, this minute, without the inconvenience of travelling. Ireland may be out of the World Cup but, my word, the other countries could learn a thing or two from them.

For sheer passion and enjoyment of the game and representing their country, they (and their supporters) would be hard to beat.