Munster 19 – Montauban 17. Not Good Enough.

It doesn’t matter that the new Thomond Park is a pleasure to be in or that the home of Munster rugby has lost none of its hostility to visiting teams.  It doesn’t matter if Munster forgot what their mission is.  We’ll have to do better than this if we want to keep the European Cup.  A lot better.

Munster were careless, indisciplined and lacked the cohesiveness that last year saw them safely through possibly the toughest group in the history of the competition.  They also underestimated the calibre of the visitors, who turned out to be a strong, determined and skilful team and who deserved to take home their bonus point.  The Munster crowd applauded Montauban off the pitch at the end of the game, a fair recognition of their performance.

Munster tried to play an open, expansive, passing game.  Everything started from the backs as Munster moved forward in sweeping formations, interchanging, swapping and interweaving their running.  It was beautiful to watch, and it nearly cost us the result, because of handling errors, knock-ons and wrong calls.  We forgot the fundamental maxim: first, win the game.

Last night, Munster got out of jail with a last-minute penalty, and we all know it.  There’s no point quibbling about the professional foul on Stringer that should have led to a Montauban player being sin-binned, nor is there any point complaining that they got a try from a knock-on.  The fact is, we should have been so far ahead the only issue was whether we’d get our fourth try or not.  Instead, we ended up scrambling to hold onto possession at 16-14 and gave away a handy penalty to put Montauban in the lead with two minutes left on the clock.  That should have been it, and if it hadn’t been for a last-minute penalty, we’d have been walking away from the new Thomond Park, shaking our heads and wondering what hit us.

We were let off, and I hope we learn from it or we’re cooked.  Last night, we didn’t look like the reigning champions of Europe.


Bruff RFC have some fine PICS on their site and here are a few more of my own:.


16 thoughts on “Munster 19 – Montauban 17. Not Good Enough.

  1. U put it better than I could, but I’d add that without the determination of earls in particular, munster would be bollixed. I also predict that after todays performance against clairmont, the sale sharks should take the cup no problem

  2. Bock,

    I saw these guys back at the end of August – they were away to Bayonne who have a huge partisan crowd. Bayonne seemed to have the game killed but the Montauban boys clawed their way back, leaving the Bayonnais clinging on for a win at the end.

    Clermont-Auvergne are not half the team this season they were last.

  3. Dunno, Bock. Something just wasn’t right there last night. The place lacked atmosphere. Where I was in the west stand, it was like being at Mass. At one point, a mournful rendition of The Fields started up, and it had petered out by the time it got to the chorus.

    What was it with the lads? The Montaubon side was flagged all week as the second string, so maybe Munster were thinking about getting the bonus point before they had worked out how to win the game. The mad thing is that Munster nearly did get the bonus point – the losing one.

    I’m putting it down to a blip – a lack of concentration. Big improvement needed for the away match at Sale.

  4. You’re right. The place was remarkably subdued.

    It’s hard to know whether it was a lack of concentration or a wrong game plan but things will have to change greatly if we expect to take anything home from the Sale match.

  5. Well, I’m still glad you won. Tomorrow is another day.

    Just don’t be slagging off Leinster too much the next time. :)

  6. Whatever about the match itself, if they are to hold another capacity crowd at Thomond park again they seriously need to look at some sort of traffic system. The whole city ground to a halt yesterday, don’t think I have ever seen anything like it, even worse than a christmas eve.

  7. Squid, I have never seen a gridlock so bad! Was trying to pick up one of my lads from town but had to turn back ‘cos all the traffic lights were on flashing amber! Go figure!

    Last statement from Tom Mc Gurk last night, “that’ll put manners on you Munster”!. Never liked the cunt!

  8. To be honest, the traffic was a combination of the usual Friday Night mayhem, baked with the Bad weather and seasoned with a hefty dose of Thomond Park on top.
    The idea of Putting a game on during the Friday night “Mad Hours” is just off the wall to be honest. But I have a feeling that they have no choice, SKY rules the Roost as regards dates and kickoff times.
    Either make them on Saturdays or else kickoff at about 9:00 or even 9:30 to allow rush hour to clear. Everyone knows that the Ennis Road/Caherdavin road and the north side of the city in General is famed for it’s Friday night (Actually every night now) Tailbacks. All it takes is a dose of the rain we had on Friday to make matters twenty times worse.
    Anyway, coming from the southern side of town, We parked the car at the top of William street, walked out in twenty minutes and were back in and at the car within twenty minutes of leaving the ground. Clear road home from there.
    Traffic was just not a problem afterwards once you got across the Shannon. The problem with Limerick is always getting across the Shannon, in either direction. If you don’t have to do it in a car, there’s no problem. The tunnel will help this to a certain degree as regards through traffic.
    People also have to remember that the stadium is twice the size it was capacity wise, you are just NOT going to be able to get a car ANYWHERE near it anymore. That’s just the price we pay for success and to get the tickets. We either learn to live with it and move on, or stagnate and try to stay in the “Good ole days” of twenty men with their dogs… and the players mothers and wives baying for Blood with bloodcurdling shrieks on the sidelines.

    Mapstew: as regards McGurk, he was right, we were damn cocky and nearly paid dearly for it. How many years have we lost our first game though and had to play those “Miracle Matches” at the end of the season because of early losses? We are better off now than a lot of years, and got away with a lesson that will stand to us later on methinks. Sale however could pay for it… hopefully..
    Anyway to be more partisan and “Local” (That’s not the word I’m looking for, but it’ll do), Bruff are on top of Division 2 for the second week running in our first ever season there… the game on Saturday against Thomond was very similar to Friday night, with a get out of jail try and conversion in the last couple of minutes to seal the deal..

  9. Bock, I don’t know what Sale’s game plan is this year – defence seems to be as tight as a drum though. Least number of tries leaked so far this season I believe – but then again, they’ve not been scoring many in the Premiership either. Good luck with them, I think you might need it. I won’t be cheering for you I’m afraid, not at this point of the competition – it’s still England against Ireland at the minute isn’t it ? (To be honest though, I’ll still be happy if you win ;-))

  10. Sale look like a formidable task this year, and after Friday’s performance Munster will need to look at themselves very critically. There’s also a French gentleman there who might well have a score or two he’d like to settle.

    On the other hand, maybe Munster needed a fright to jolt them out of any lingering complacency and maybe we won’t see so much fanny-dancing next time.

    We can’t expect you to be cheering for us yet, while some of your neighbours are in contention, but I suppose we’ll take whatever we can get, including generally benign feelings.

  11. was ridicolous 4half hours to limerick last got to see the second half come on limerick ye want the support keep traffic flowing left west cork at 4pm

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