Munster 27 — Castres 24

 Posted by on November 19, 2011  Add comments
Nov 192011

If you had gone into a bookies this morning and said, Excuse me, I’d like to put a tenner on Ronan O Gara making the winning score with the last kick of the game, what do you think they’d have said to you? Any decent bookie would have tucked your folded note into your pocket and sent you home.  Keep your money.  I might be a bookie, but I’m not a thief.

I mentioned this to my beloved son, Bullet, who replied, Imagine the odds you’d have got if you went into a bookie shop last week and bet on O Gara doing it twice.

Half way through today’s game, sharing a delicious scoop or two with Wrinkly Joe, he leaned over and said, You know how this will end, don’t you?

No, I replied.  How will this end?

With eighty minutes on the clock, Munster will have possession, O Gara will be in the pocket and he’ll slot one over.

How we laughed about that.

Guess what?  With eighty minutes on the clock, O Gara dropped into the pocket and slotted one over to win the away game in Stade Toulousain.  Sickener.  If that was Thomond Park, I reckon the entire crowd would have surfed home on a tsunami of barf, but here comes the downside.

It’s great that Munster have pulled the last two games out of the fire, but as a regular contributor here pointed out, they  wouldn’t  have to do that sort of thing if they were managing the breakdown properly, which they are not.  I couldn’t count the number of infringements Munster were penalised for, and even if you think that Wayne Barnes is a particularly whistle-happy referee, it doesn’t matter.  A professional team must assess the referee as much as the opposition, take note of his tendencies, and play the game accordingly.  Referees are not robots and the likes of Munster, twice winners, should have no difficulty adjusting.  I don’t know whose responsibility that is, but ultimately it goes back to Tony McGahan.

Some people are saying that the group is now down to two, since both Northampton and Castres have lost two games, but there’s still a way to go before we can declare anyone dead and buried.  Certainly, Llanelli and Munster are in prime position, but let’s see what happens in the back-to-back December games.


  6 Responses to “Munster 27 — Castres 24”

Comments (6)

    I can’t help getting the feeling that Munster are riding their luck. They will be found out soon i would imagine.


    I’d be interested to know what you mean by “found out”.


    Not long back from the game.

    My overall feeling on the game was that we made heavy weather of it and should have beaten Castres my 10+ points. At times we were our own worst enemy, what with unforced errors and the aforementioned penalties. ROG left six points behind in the 1st half and both Dougie and/or Chambers could or should have gone over the whitewash for a second time. I hope that potential additional point left in Toulouse doesn’t come back to haunt us.

    The 600-800 Munster supporters did us proud by out-shouting our rivals – so much so that the team re-emerged ápre match to applaud us.


    That’s the point I’m making. Munster should not be relying on last-minute drop goals to win matches. There was a time, and not so long ago, when drop goals were looked on as a very poor way to score points. What changed?


    In fairness to Munster they are very much a work in progress and seem to be rediscovering the doggedness and bitterness that was the hallmark of many teams from Munster, but club and representative. The likes of Wallace and Quinlan are injured and/or retired and their likes don’t come around too often. O’Mahony and Barnes making their HC debuts, Chambers ditto. Murphy at fullback in place of an injured Jones, Earls also crocked. Not many sides would cope too well with those disruptions not to mind win 2 HC games, one against last years beaten finalist the other aginst the current 3rd placed Top14 team in the south of France. They may have made hard work of it on Saturday but they manage to score 3 tries, albeit one was rather soft. Compared to Saints, some of whose fans blame the refs and the “Celtic” fringe for cheating them out of their rightful wins. Owens is Celtic by the way and shouldn’t ref games involving Celtic teams ie Munster. I woould argue that Owens is British and shouldn’t ref games involving British teams ie Saints.

    But I digress. Nunster may not win the HC this season bur they are providing some great entertainment and finishing. The Scarlets game in Thomond Park should be another huge day for Limerick. Bring it on.


    what odds on winning the final with a drop goal.
    if Munster get to the final stages this year, what will it matter how they got there.

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