There are two things you should never do to any Munster-based team, whether province or club.
The first is to show disrespect in their home ground by making noise while a player for either side is taking a kick. This is viewed in a very poor light and the Perpignan supporters’ jeering during the traditional silence did not go down well.
The second thing you should never do is to take a Munster team for granted, as M. Yohan Vivalda, the Perpignan flanker, did when he compared Munster to an Academy team.
He received his answer, and his discourteous home supporters were silenced today in Stade Aime Giral, where the home side haven’t been defeated in five years, when Munster trounced them 37-14. In a focussed display of superiority, Paul O Connell led his men into the Catalan bear-pit and shrugged off the hostility of the home crowd to deliver not only a win, but a bonus point thanks to tries from Hurley, Fogarty, deVilliers and Howlett, while at the same time denying the home team the comfort of a single losing bonus point.
Even a sin-binning for Ronan O Gara didn’t break Munster’s rhythm as Paul Warwick slotted in nicely to take over the kicking duties.
Normal service has resumed, folks, and the Munster show is very much back on the road after a shaky period.
We look forward to welcoming Northampton in January.