The first half was so boring I went looking for the stall where they push rusty nails into your eyes. I couldn’t find that so I hunted around for the place where they sell rubbishy food that’s really bad for your health at a price eight times what you’d expect to pay for it.
Gimme two of those filthy sausages that I wouldn’t feed my dog, please. And would you mind slathering them in that synthetic, flavour-enhanced goo? Great. Here’s forty euros.
I was so bored in the first half that I started taking pictures of the crowd. Where’s Wally?
Are you in there?
Towards the end of the first half, it picked up, when Damien Varley touched down a perfectly valid try on the line, in front of the referee, and the television match official disallowed it.
Have a look at this picture and tell me it isn’t a try. Of course it doesn’t matter in the slightest, but in a half of such dismally boring play from both sides, we needed something to cheer us up. It didn’t happen, and we went into the break scoreless.
In the second half, things improved. Six minutes in, Varley finally gets across the line and ROG converts it, but the feeling doesn’t last. With 20 minutes to go, Garvey charges down a dreadful clearance from O :Leary and Mapusua goes over the line.
Dear Jesus. Where are those rusty nails for my eyes? Gimme another dozen gristly hot-dogs there, fast!
Stringer comes on with about 15 minutes to go, but his arrival is immediately followed by another try for London Irish when Tagicakibau smashes his way over the line, followed by a conversion.
It’s 14-7 in their favour. People are looking at each other. What’s this?
The mood picks up as the crowd get motivated and Stringer is beginning to up the pace of the game.
He’s working nice little set-pieces like this one with Leamy and Ronan.
Five minutes later, after Tony Buckley is stopped on the line, Ronan collects and goes over for a try to level the scores.
It’s the old Munster. ROG chips to Keith Earls who goes in for the third try and with a minute to go, Daragh Hurley gets the fourth. It was another TMO decision, but this time he awarded a try he couldn’t see, presumably to make up for refusing one a blind man could spot.
All tries converted, it ends Munster 28 LI 14.
The difference: Stringer, in my opinion.
So we’ve qualified for the Amlin Challenge. Could anything be more wonderful?
Munster has a lot of rebuilding to do, but at least we weren’t beaten in Thomond Park, and after the game we had one or two convivial jars with the visitors, who turned out to be as decent a bunch as you might expect.