Munster 24 — Leinster 23

 Posted by on April 3, 2011  Add comments
Apr 032011
 

I nearly forgot to mention it.  What did you think of the Munster-Leinster game?  Leaving aside all the penalties, which went against Munster as much as the visitors, I thought it was a fine performance by the home team.

I hadn’t seen Conor Murray at scrum-half before, but I thought he was outstanding.  In my opinion, far more impressive than Tomás O Leary, and a fit successor for Stringer who, by the way, might arguably have been the deciding factor when brought on in the last ten minutes.

The first half was all Leinster and they sure have become an impressive outfit, although they were let down by the choice of Isaac Boss at Number 9, and to our relief, or perhaps because he was neutralised, by the failure of Seán O Brien to drive through the Munster defence.  Whatever.  Either way, the visitors were an impressive and dangerous proposition right to the final whistle, and if BOD hadn’t been binned, we might have been looking at a different result.  Hey, shit happens.  We were on the end of harsh decisions too, and it’s not as if Leinster hadn’t been warned before Brian got his marching orders.  The crowd gave him hard time as he walked off, but it’s affectionate too.  We all know what a great player he is and what a marvellous soldier he’s been for Ireland.  This rivalry is good and positive.

I didn’t recognise the referee but I thought he was doing a bit too much grandstanding which is never a good sign.  The game should not be about the referee.  He should be anonymous.

One major downside was the sight of Paul O Connell collapsing in extreme pain after an obviously severe injury.  The implications are beyond local rugby.   This affects the World Cup campaign, something we do not want to be attending without such a leader.  With all respect to other players, there is nobody else like POC for keeping everything tight and coherent during a game.  He makes the team work, in every sense of the word.

Obviously, I’m biased in favour of Munster, but still, wasn’t it great to beat the old rivals after such a long time?  Six games is almost unbearable, and yes, it’s true that we beat them by the smallest of margins.  All credit to the visitors, but some credit also to Mr O Gara for having nerves of steel..

At the moment, I don’t feel optimistic about the future of Munster rugby for various reasons.  Some have to do with the resources available to us, and some are about the broader economic climate where our young guys are emigrating.

On top of that, we’re losing some of our greatest players.  Quinlan and Hayes are due for retirement.  Warwick is moving.  Flannery might not return to the game. Buckley is leaving.

That’s why moments like this are to be enjoyed, even if we have to acknowledge the grim reality that they’re in the Heineken Cup and we’re not.  Damn, that’s an awful thought, but at least we have more cups than they do, for now.

  12 Responses to “Munster 24 — Leinster 23”

Comments (12)
  1.  

    Oh the times they are a changing!

  2.  

    I share your view on Munster rugby, believing however, that its not who is being lost but that they are not being replaced at a quality or rate needed to keep the high standards. It was, for once, a game of two halves, Munster winning the second by a greater margin than Leinster won there’s. As a Leinsterman I’d never begrudge any win in this way, our team turned up, their team turned up and the narrow margin says all there has to be said. I will take the consolation that Munster have not scored a try now in the last six matches against Leinster – that bodes well for Ireland too.

  3.  

    Stringer is a dinger!

  4.  

    Sexton is doing a fine job ensuring that the greatest points scorer (O’Gara) in the history of the European Cup and the 5th highest points scorer (and counting) in Test rugby doesn’t become complacent. Fair play to Johnny, someone has to keep Ireland’s NO 1 on his toes.

  5.  

    Don’t share your fears for the future at all Bock.Sure there are a lot of players movin on,and out, but it’s not by accident we’re top of the magners league and have the best “A” team of all the Irish provinces the last 2 seasons.Aside from the excellent Murray,players like Jones,Zebo,O Mahony.Nagle and Sherry all have the potential to step up to the standard set.Indeed many of them already have,Nagle’s MOTM performance against the shackle draggers being one example.
    We are a team in transition alright but our position at the summit of the magners is because of our non international,up and coming solid players as much as anyone else.There has always been more hype about underage players in the other provinces,that’s just the way it’s always been.
    Have a little faith,this team may well be the only thing capable of giving us a sense of pride in ourselves in the troubled years to come.

  6.  

    Obviously I don’t say that because I wish it to be so, but only because I fear it might turn out like that. I hope your view turns out to be correct. For once, I’d be delighted if somebody proved me wrong.

  7.  

    Ah Bock,

    I thought I’d see a post about beating us. Funny I can’t remember many about the last five times we’ve met! [Joke]

    To be fair your post is very measured and accurate, a lot better than the usual Munster > Leinster, Munster > Ireland; Leinster > Munster shite that has surfaced over the last few years. The only reason I haven’t put in anything about any Leinster > Ireland crap because I simply haven’t heard any so far, and if I did I’d pay it as much respect as any other province > country shite.

    As for your match analysis, it’s practically spot on IMO. I agree with you about Conor Murray, if he keeps TOL and his 20 yards too far box kicks and two steps before passing out of the Ireland team, he has my vote. He reminds me a bit of Phillips for Wales, I wonder is it his huge size for a scrum half? I also agree having someone like Stringer on the bench is a huge assett. Seeing as I’m going on about scrum halves at the moment, I think Boss was chosen for his physicality around the scrum, a bit like TOL except that he can pass. But with Reddan, Stringer, Boss and Marshall in Ulster I think we’re covered for that position.

    With ROG and Sexton, well for me it’s exactly the situation we had when ROG was the upstart breaking through and taking the place from Humphries. I think that O’Sullivan handled that well and see Kidney following on in the same thread. We need to encourage competition between players in the Ireland team to make sure we play at our best in the world cup. No matter what province they’re from.

    Oh yeah, you know that BOD was being held down by DOC Don’t ya?|He’d never be that stupid to do anything like that
    . As for the ref, well he was as home town as any French super 14 ref, B uckley not getting carded or how in the name of God he gave the penalty when we had the scrum and your front line popped up and he decided to grandstand as you put it, by awarding you a baffling penalty.

    But when it comes down to it,we’re still both standing; and I’ll be cheering you on in the Amllin cup like I was all those years in the Heineken Cup when we were knocked out. Lets hope that we get as many cups as you this year!

  8.  

    OK Bock, without knowing as much about the academy team as Pauleire, I share your sense of foreboding. For me, the best academy team at the moment is Leinster becaue I’ve seen them put more emphasis into it than Munster. I may be proved wrong and would be happy to be so, but looking at it now, I can see more future Ireland players coming from Leinster and Ulster than Munster.

    I also don’t think that McGahan was/is the right coach for Munster. OK so he’s arrived in a scenario where he’s got a team in transition but I don’t see any sense of building for the future, more of a sense of trying to fan the last dying embers of a fire in order to put something on the cv like managed Munster and won a European Cup (Amlin|) honestly would losing him be such a loss?

  9.  

    No.

  10.  

    Let’s put things in perspective,we played absolutely shite against Toulon,one of the richest teams in the world.they’ve addressed many of the issues arising from that day,namely get a fuckin scrum with a tighthead who can hold his own.We’re miles ahead in the magners,look at the stats,we’ve used just as many young players in key positions as the ladies,we’re not that far behind ans if we’re signing the big names for next season that are being bandied about we’re in for some treat.O driscoll,Cullen,Horgan and Darcy arent exactly spring chickens and with Nacewa gone they’re going to be in a lot of bother.There has always been more hype from the Dublin media about Leinster players than others,did you ever wonder how Neil Francis ever got near an Irish cap?
    Word has it Nonu is definitely comin,McCaw another….let’s see!

  11.  

    You reckon we’ll get Richie?

  12.  

    Downey appears to be on the way. Nonu not coming according to the rumours – McAwe? Nope! Not happening. We do need a backrower as well but we don’t have the money to sign the bould Richie!

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