London Irish 23 — Munster 17

 Posted by on October 10, 2010  Add comments
Oct 102010

Not an entirely disappointing start to the 2010 Heineken Cup campaign, but still a game that could and should have been won.  Munster came away with a bonus point thanks to a sweet little grubber from O Gara that stood up nicely for Munster inside centre Sam Tuitupou to score a last-minute try, but it was partly thanks to the No 12 that they needed such a last-minute reprieve.  Tuitupou, like Lifeimi Mafi last week, in a stupid tackle on Gordon Darcy , cost Munster 3 points and got himself binned for a disgraceful spear-tackle.  He now faces a suspension, joining Mafi in the stand for the next seven or eight weeks if he’s lucky.

London Irish never looked more than ordinary, although Lamb’s kicking was mostly spot-on and Bob Casey was magnificent, but Munster are currently fielding a weakened squad.   Tomás O Leary is out with a broken thumb, Jerry Flannery is still not match fit, and therefore watched the game in the same pub as I did.  Nobody knows when Paul O Connell will return.  Ian Dowling has an injured hip and Keith Earls is not yet up to full speed.

Despite that, Earls never looked less than dangerous and Stringer stepped into the gap for O Leary with characteristic confidence.  There is no end to this man, and despite what his critics say, I have the greatest admiration for him.

There’s little to say about London Irish’s intercept try from Topsy Ojo.  It happens, and it never indicates how a game was evolving, but coming in the first minute of the restart, it certainly punched Munster in the kidneys.

Mushie Buckley, on the other hand, was in my opinion on top of his game and put in his best ever performance in a Munster shirt.  It was a pity that he didn’t manage to carry the ball over the line with 20 minutes to go, which is a surprise for a man of his weight and strength.  Armitage deserves full credit for holding him up but the truth is that  a man of Buckley’s size should have driven his opponent and the ball over the line with no trouble at all.  More coaching needed.  If that try had gone in, Munster were in a position to win the game.

Quinlan’s omission from the bench was a strange decision, and Paul Wallace came on too late, though when he did, his strength, speed and athleticism made a huge difference.

There’s something not entirely right in the Munster management set-up at the moment.   We hear stories of Quinlan storming out and of dissent among the players.  Rumours are circulating that McGahan might have resigned, or might be about to quit.  Nobody knows.

Looking at yesterday’s game, I’m bound to say that I can’t imagine Munster losing if Paul O Connell had been at the helm, if Qunlan and Wallace had been on from the start or if the three-quarters line was operating at full throttle.  Any one of the above would have taken it for us, in my opinion.

Still, not to worry.  London Irish wanted to send the visitors home empty-handed, and they failed. It could yet turn out to be a most valuable bonus point.

  17 Responses to “London Irish 23 — Munster 17”

Comments (17)

    Gerry Flannery played for Shannon v Garryowen on Friday night, he’s match fit. A Shannon man tells me that he is yet again out of favour because of disciplinary problems. David Wallace came on, hid brother Paul may have been commentating. Wallace and Quinlivan should have started, the gulf in class between them and their replacements was shockng. Munster do not have strength in depth and will suffer hugely when these guys retire. Munster to win their group!


    Is Flannery fit to play a HC match? And if so, why was Varley selected?


    If you are fit to play AIL you are fit to play Heineken Cup. Varley is picked ahead of Flannery because

    1/ He is a better player

    2/ Flannery is dropped / suspended

    3/ Flannery can’t get along with team mates

    4/ Flannery can’t be trusted with referees after games

    Delete as appropriate.

    PS Young Michael Sherry from Garryowen came on as a late sub hooker and took the vital lineout that led to the try. Good to see local talent coming through.


    Agreed. That substitution was pretty damn good.


    Too many knock on’s. Too many bad bad passes. It was there for the taking but Munster left it behind them. RO’G was targeted by L.I. from the very start. No Quinny,No Bull, No win the game. I thought Micko made a big difference when he came on. What a massive stalwart for Munster over the years! They have a few very tough games ahead to top this pool. The best they can hope for is 2nd. and a place in the 1/4 finals.


    Bock, I was at the game on Saturday. Your points are valid. I was alarmed to hear the the exact same story from a supporter in his sixties who sat in front of me re. Quinnie. He informed me that indeed Quinnie did storm out and that Warwick backed him up. Thus both paid the price. He also maintained that his source was impeccable but would not inform me as to who that source was.

    I stayed at the same hotel as the team (the Hilton) and saw McGahan looking very tense prior to match and at the game itself he positioned himself far from the point of play and seemed almost disinterested.

    Worrying times I fear.


    Jaysus lads. I presume ye all know who was on the grassy knoll as well?

    Player is dropped and is unhappy.
    Coach is tense before big game.
    40 Minutes of AIL means you are fit for aforementioned ‘big game’ coach is so tense about.
    A fella I never met told me that a fella he knows told him all about it.
    Oh no wait a minute this is the internet you must all be right.

    Cop on lads.


    Mike Sherry who came on as a last minute sub was considered fit enough for possible play despite not playing any AIL in the previous 2 weeks due to involvement with Munster. Flannery played more rugby than Sherry in the last 2 weeks, surely he would be considered fitter. So what is your point? Tell that bloke you never met that he knows nada.


    Perhaps the clue is in the fact that he was a last-minute sub.


    Yes he was , but IF needed he would have played the majority of the game had Varley been injured. Fit for the bench, fit for the field.


    So what the hell is going on? Don’t hold back.


    Nice rugby piece, you almost seem credible


    You almost seem sincere.


    My sources tell me that

    Tomás O’Leary and Quinlan had a dis agreement after the recent Leinster defeat. O’L hit Q, result, broken thumb.Q suspended. Despite the spin from Munster O’L never received attention during the game for an injury,

    Flannery & Wallace had tete a tete recently after F spat at W. Result F suspended again W dropped for Ronan.

    Flannery involved in the SRFC assault on referees dressing room in Coonagh. Hush, Hush and suspension.


    Did he not receive attention when Sherry replaced him?


    Sherry replaced Varley v London Irish.


    Sorry. Senior moment there. Late night last night.

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