Used To Be This Place Was Angry

Used to be a testing ground for theories, opinions or ideas which were debated and, out of necessity, thrashed to within an instant of an occasionally terrifying existence before either emerging  bloodied but unbowed, or alternatively  discarded to an ethereal oblivion never to see the light of day again.

Used to be this place put structure on posits and demanded rigorous examination of things. Used to be that nothing was accepted at face value here, references were checked and it used to be that facts were torn to shreds until they yielded up a bias or grew in stature because of the debate.

The Celtic tiger came and went and was seen here for the charlatan it was, so too with the church, FF, woo merchants , local politicians , big business –  all were found out here.

Nothing could make this site, its custodian, readership or contributors lose their critical facilities and acquiesce to the status quo.  It was a nihilist and a custodian of right and of proper. If something couldn’t be seen, heard, tasted, smelled or felt – this place would not accept it. This place found out the flimflam merchants and chastened them. Nothing bogus escaped, it was nailed and crucified, had fingers poked into wounds and thorns mashed onto lying heads.

Used to be.

Err… what?

Here’s what.

Plus 3 + Plus 2 + Plus 3 +Plus 6 + last Saturday’s less than convincing Plus 16.


5 matches – 5 wins – no home draw.


Cheer leading for the Paulie and Rog show.


The passive acceptance of a flawed team playing a nearsighted game which has no chance of winning the European cup. The tacit agreement with a coach and management team who have calculated that a fighting quarter final display will keep their jobs for another year.

So make your point.

My points are that we (you, me, this site) have become apologists for a losing Munster team – a team with a flawed, built-for-losing, design.  That we have come to accept pyrrhic displays over solid victories, have come to value drama over substance. That we, one of the best-supported and resourced teams in Europe have stopped questioning why this team is under performing.

In short – the problem with Munster is us.

Oh love is blind and love is chemical and we the fans, the wounded party, are always the last to know about the cheating bastard that is Munster – and love facilitates a blissful denial of the inevitability of a searing hot day in the south of France when this team will be found out. Yes the forwards are so much stronger this year – the South African twins in the front row as solid as Michael McDowell and Kevin Myers are deluded right wing fascists – young O ‘Mahony and his bit of devilment and Coughlan (that’s coc-lan and not the Cork-pronounced Coughlan as in Cauldron). Yes- they’re so much stronger and more competitive since we’re now starting the right Donnacha.

So why are we just scraping by  – the poor child of the quarter finals – soon to arrive home from Milton Keynes, with a forlorn look and the uncertainty of an away day abroad in god knows where, and not a home quarter final at the citadel?  And why are you (we) denying me this?  Why are we denying ourselves what is our due when we know what has been sacrificed for this farrago?  The sacrifice of the best ever Irish club rugby league in which our local teams were so successful.

For what?

For a team that is not able to play the type of game required to win the competition., that’s what.

There is no Sean Payne or Trevor Halstead or Rua Tipoki in this team – no Paul Warwick – no obvious replacement for Howlett – no investment in a strong, talented and vital back line who can cope with and excel in the fast modern offloading game, the game which is an absolute must to win this European thing.

But this is not the worst – that is reserved for the damning indictment of an ambitionless management and coaching staff that have sat on their hands and let this situation evolve.  Why? (Remembering that Munster is one of the best-resourced,  best supported  and best funded teams in the competition).   Why aren’t funds available to bring in the quality that is required to win this competition? Or develop is locally?  What is the money being spent on?

Why have Leinster become better than us?  Why do they have a stream of talent, indigenous and foreign, coming through as if on tap and as and when required?

It is not right.


33 replies on “Used To Be This Place Was Angry”

Ah here, looks like you need a sub editor sniffle. 4 paragraphs and 6 sentences until you get to the start of the article.

And* it’s not until you hit the return button twenty times that you get to the nub of it all. “Why have Leinster become better than us?”

For me it comes down to two things:

1/ We learned off you. Saw what you did right and adapted it to suit ourselves.

2/ Picked a better coach to replace our previous one.

Now the question is, what are you going to do about it?

[/folds arms]

*I know, grammatically it’s not correct to start a sentence with And/ but hey it’s t’internet and all.

Yes – agree with you there Mark – on the learning from Munster thing and the new coach – but I think there’s more to the Leinster success story than that. However this note is not about Leinster, although Munster can learn from the broader structure and organization in the province.

What do you think we should do ?

and its still not right

you say we are ‘apologists for a losing munster team’ only a few lines after you state the impressive fact that we are actually 5 wins from 5 games in the HC this year. Yes the team is underperforming, but we are decimated by injuries. Howlett, felix, wally, fla, leamy and now niall ronan are all out. Because of this we have been forced to blood players who were not heineken cup starters up to now, like O’Mahony, Zebo, Donncha Ryan, Murray and Barnes. Have they not done well? Also, our scrum has recovered from the absolute clusterfuck it was last season and is now, once again, a weapon. Same goes for the lineout. Might i remind you that last season we didn’t even make it out of our group and were subsequently shamed in the amlin. The team is not playing particurlarly well, but we are winning.

Last years team needed a tighthead and some quality centres. The arrival of Botha seems to have solved the scrum problem and the talk in the Times this morning is of the arrival next season of Downey and possibly Casey Laulala. Ruddock as another possible target would provide more young competition in the backrow.

I’m glad that you allude to the AIL and its demise. At its prime it was a ready breeding ground for future provincial and Ireland players. Alas with its decline the gap between it and the pro game a grown and is rarely bridged. The IRFU must take the blame for this. It saddens me that 26k will fill Thomond Park yet the proverbial man and his dog only go to a local club game. There’s difference between being a Munster supporter and a rugby supporter.

I think the current plight of the Munster team can be traced to the demise of the AIL and by Kidneys failure to promote / develop a sufficient amount of players. He took over a ready made team, albeit one that improved from professionalism and all that that involves. Once the supply of top level AIL players dried up the squad stopped progressing. Hayes and O’Gara have had no meaningful competition for years. Granted top level players in their positions don’t grow on trees, but little was done to develop alternatives. McGahan has down more to develop academy players than Kidney ever dreamt of. Varley, Murray, Barnes, Earls, O’Manoney have all blossomed and gotten more game time under McGahan, credit where it’s due.

The schools have also contributed to the downfall. Leinster schools have bought into the pro game in terms of nutrition and player development. Non so in Munster “we have our own system”. The difference between Leinster lads at school leaving age and their Munster counterparts is startling, in rugby terms. There are more Connacht players in the Ireland U19/21 set up than there are from Munster. That tells its own story.

Could not agree with you more No 8. The deterioration of support the AIL has been awful to witness.
If more red shirt wearing supporters, supported their local clubs occasionally, even once a month. It would make a real difference to the club. Contributing not only to the financial side of things, but also help to boost the moral of the players and club activists. We still have great club teams in limerick. These clubs need our support. And I guarantee you that the main beneficiaries will be the Munster rugby team. The fire is going out in the Munster professional team and has almost been completely extinguished at A.I.L. level. Get the fire back in the belly of the clubs. Then we will see a great Munster team again. Support your local A.I.L. team!

Hey Tom –don’t think injuries explain it though. Fla and Wally are in their golden years really – brilliant in their prime – but the game is mostly for good fellas in their mid to late twenties . And here’s another thing – why did Sean Cronin, from Clonlara, join the other shower ? ( that is with respect to both Varley and Sherry). And as I mentioned , we are competitive 1 -> 10 . My point is that the Munster supporter is too passive & accepting of, what are, poor results & I think the hierarchy realize this – and play a % game when they should be playing the winning game which is more complex – demanding quality throughout team.

Why don’t Munster have strength in depth ?

Why did McGahan change the game plan from last year’s more open approach ? I heard rumblings from supporters last season wanting them to return to the ”traditional” game ( whatever that is ) and this year’s game of inches in 40 phases is hardly extravagant. Did McGahan cave to the pressure ?

I want them competitive and I want them winning – I think they are an unbalanced side and if I can see this , then why can’t the management? How much are they paying players ? Do we have super star wages for some and nothing left in the kitty to invest in a classy back line ?

I think that because we are so passionate about them – we get blinded to their weaknesses – get complacent about shitty results.

They are not good enough to win it right now – and I want to know why.

Munster 4 -that sounds good for next season – not too familiar with those players – Ruddock seems t be a good un – not sure beyond that though.

I’m looking for it this season and want to know why we have to accept this game, this ambitionless game which will not win the competition.

Sing it number eight – yep = nothing done to synch up the AIL with the Munster set-up. It was take , take, take from Munster and nothing given back. There’s a huge structural problem there but not an insurmountable one. Kidney raped and pillaged and paid no attention to the clubs.

I don’t think McGahan had a plan to bring the players you mention ,on per say – I think he had no choice but to use them – there were no others and the kitty was all used up on our super stars – that’s what I think . I also think he wimped out this year and changed to his percentage game of inches and 40 phases, because of the disgruntled rumblings last year.

And you are so accurate about the Leinster schools have changed in their approach with the Munster rugby schools remaining entrenched in the old ways.

But where is all the Munster money going ?

Well said Long John Silver – it’s bloody miserable sometimes in Coonagh or Dooradoyle and it’s the same few loyal punters each week – like number eight said, rugby supporters ( club men / women) Greenfields is more buoyant though – Munsters have a much bigger following than the others. Playing club matches in Thomand Park is a good idea too – on Friday nights – and like you said the crowds give a morale boost to the team and activists .

But my rant is about Munster and why we’re not going win anything this year – no-one has explained why we should accept these under performances.

The professional soccer crowd don’t accept it – Kilkenny or Kerry fans wouldn’t accept it.

Why should we

sorry sniffle i was just testing that my connection was ok because I was posting on a different thread and my posts weren’t appearing so I just picked a random thread to see if it would post on that one …and it did… whatever that’s about? Bock? my ‘still is but for the wrong reasons’ post above was in response to the title to this thread without actually reading the thread..apologies if I’ve further confused you :)

As for the thread itself I believe that the Munster PR machine [in its relentless pursuit of business expansion/don’t blame them it’s their job] has created delusions of grandeur in a vast amount of Munster faithful who have been given a collective self esteem boost by the team s success over the past 10 years, but like all self esteem boosts which are based on exterior criteria its generally more air than substance, therefore when that which provided the boost is threatened the air seeps out and those once confident supporters will, as mentioned in the article, acquiesce once more or indeed find another exterior factor to regain that boost. And so the cycle continues , a cycle that is blissfully unaware that self esteem and character are in fact an inside job in the most literal sense. The future of any sport is in the amateur game and how tomorrows stars are supported at school boy level. The Munster PR team need to rethink their long term strategy and trickle some of the money earned back into the game at a local level [for example giving money and expertise in making AIL more attractive to supporters, getting O Connel,Rog, Earls to advertise the local game on Radio] They need to realise that places like green fields and Coonagh and clubs like Munster and Thomond are where and how the dream is built.

Not sure either. Tipoki was a big loss, has not been properly replaced.
Some contributing factors might have been age(35), non-irish qualification and some serious knee and hamstring injuries that had not fully healed. The emergence of Earls and availability of DeVilliers may have had some influence as well.

@ Tommy – think you nailed it there – there’s a mildness about a lot of the munster support – like this damp, dank & cloying winter we’re having – breathing bacteria and soft chests – & just like the winter is lacking a hoary frosty bite , this support is lacking a bit of venom, a bit of hate ( like a legend once quantified what I was missing when he said that “ I needed to bring a pound of hate ( old pound i.e. lb pound) to our next match”.

So the crowd is not at fever pitch, their happiness not contingent on the result , they are not engaged or committed beyond meeting up and putting on the shirt – they have no symbiotic relationship with the team. Their self esteem boost is fickle and satisfied too easily – by being there, meeting up and having a laugh – they make no demands on the team beyond a venue, a social gathering and some sort of a performance.

As you say the only true sport is amateur and the suggestions you make about the team promoting the club game is spot on – even with young munsters… .

@ munster 4 – absolutely – age and injuries have played a big part in this team’s demise – my point, though, is that we have the resources to have contingency plans in place, to counter player injuries or retirements. You see the issue – we all see the issue – as do the management – the difference being that they can do something about it – but they have not adequately done so and that is what I’m more than a little annoyed with. Fuck it , you put down a week and need a fillip on the weekend , not more banal, more bullshit conservatism and cowardice kicking cans down the road.

@Bock See the intro to sniffles in my comment @ 17 above…apologies for the misleading nature of it, still can’t post on that other thread tho.

your title ‘used to be this place was angry’ my response ‘still is but for different reasons’ didn’t mean anything just an off the cuff response to the title of the article which I hadn’t read in order to eliminate one of the reasons why my posts on a different thread weren’t being accepted. Nothing more nothing less sometimes a cigar is just a cigar etc

@ Tommy – taking a bit of ribbing okay – but that was the best match I’ve seen in a long time – by any team – they really had a cut and it was definitely not a game of inches and forty phases – can’t remember the last time we scored 50 in the European cup . In my defence – the piece was about the management and hierarchy and I stand by it which doesn’t mean that I stop loving them.

Remember too, that when the Saints came out in the 2nd half, they hardly marched on ! But yes – a quarter final now at the citadel and against opposition eminently beatable.

Agreed… but in your defense u called it as many saw it…I guess we can all learn that being overly emotional in analysis of any given issue can cause us to miss key factors but having said that passion sometimes needs to be blind or it will ground to a halt. Plus Often being wrong can be gloriously right…Hopefully ‘The Paulie and Rog show’ have another 250mins or so in them…but I doubt it myself… would that I were wrong.

Mr Sniffle, Munster rugby chiefs, going forward, obviously read out your piece in the dressing room before the game and it inspired the boys to reach the last-eight.

Many managers cut out articles criticising their team and post it on the dressing room wall.

“Have a gander at what the hairy-arsed reptiles in the press are saying about you lot”, etc etc.

My own boss at Deportiva La Coruna in La Liga would use reverse psychology with me.

“Your fucking useless”, he would growl, with no regard for the devastating effect he was having on my brittle confidence.

And with that I was loaned out to Dynamo Moscow en route to Prospect Priory (F) for the third time in my career, notching numerous hat-tricks in the “Couldn’t Hit a Cow’s Arse With a Banjo District League.”

@ Tommy – the passion thing – this site is passionate – mostly – that’s why I like this place – the passion- not saying it’s naive or innocent or without a hue here or there – but there is passion . And as for another 240 mins of the Paulie and Roar show – why the fuck not ? – if the others can’t figure it out – well they have to go back to the drawing board.

@ Mr Out –I am not that hairy arsed reptile you mention – I am pure as the driven slush – gray, dull and regurgitated. I always wondered where you went after Deportivo – didn’t realize you preceded McGeedy as Dynamo Moscow – ahead of your time Mr. Out, you definitely have Trap’s “mentality”

@ Bock – Ulster – the red Bloody hand – I thought it was Edinburgh – got scared when you mentioned Biarritz – but Jesus H Christ – the northern lads – they fucking laugh at us

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