Apr 082012
 

Right.  We’re off to Thomond Park for the Munster-Ulster game.

 

 

Not much to say right now.  Tension is building and of course, the supporters have been packing the pubs since 10:30 this morning in their boundless dedication to the Munster cause.  They know that early kick-offs are a curse.  They know the atmosphere is never the same when the crowd is totally sober and that’s why they give their all by pouring as many pints down their neck as they can before the match.

I won’t be doing that, although I might have a little libation after the game, depending on how it turns out.  Ulster are a formidable outfit these days and although I think Munster have what it takes to beat them, there are no guarantees.  They won’t care a jot about all this talk of Fortress Thomond, so for now, I’ll just hold my peace.  It’s time to get on the move.

Back later with some reactions for good or ill.

__________________________

Oh God.  What can I possibly say about that without making you want to poke your eyeballs out?  I took no pictures of the game because it was too depressing.  Bah!

Munster lost 16-22 at Thomond Park to a team that outplayed them.  There’s no getting away from it, and instead of concentrating on Roman Poite’s abysmal refereeing which, after all, is pretty much a given, we need to look closer to home.

Why did the forwards hang back so much?

Why was Conor Murray’s delivery so slow?

Why was Keith Earls allowed to remain on the field when he was clearly too injured to play?

All of these things look like management issues.  I can’t help feeling that McGahan got the game plan wrong, that he was afraid of Ulster’s big, fast second row and that he set up the entire strategy to counter any threat they might pose, but if that was his plan, it didn’t work.

Half an hour into this game we were 19 points down, and against a team of Ulster’s quality, it was never likely we’d bridge the gap, but Munster slugged it out, scoring a converted try and a penalty to bring the sides within nine points of each other at the break.  Shouting distance.

Why they couldn’t press on and narrow  it further I don’t know, but I can tell you there was no sign of the big men coming up in support at the breakdown.  That has to be coming from management and Conor Murray’s uncharacteristic slowness must have been due to orders from above.  After all, he was replaced by Tomás O Leary, a scrum-half whose clock runs on geological time.

Good luck to Ulster.  I wish them well.

As someone said after the match, I’d rather be beaten by them than by Leinster, but I still didn’t want to be walking out of Thomond Park past these lads.

  24 Responses to “Munster vs Ulster in Heineken Cup Quarter Final”

Comments (24)
  1.  

    Good luck,oh and try and get some pics.

  2.  

    The bunting will be out in crossmaglen and the falls road no doubt for the semis…

  3.  

    What a pity it won’t be.

  4.  

    I know shur. Just looking on the Ulster fans forum, and never knew we were referred to as “turnips” and “turnipstan” down here…..A new one for me……

  5.  

    If I knew that I wouldn’t have been so friendly to the fuckers.

  6.  

    Do they have the stuff to win it though…Never really had any interest in them to be honest, would rather see Connacht improve….

  7.  

    Based on the performances this weekend, nobody will beat Leinster.

  8.  

    Poach M Bradley for Munster…….

  9.  

    A brief googling reveals that the Leinster fans also refer to the south-western part of the country as Turnipstan. Maybe we weren’t so far wrong when we insultingly called them the Dublin English.

  10.  

    I don’t think Leinster have had a decent examination yet this season. Cardiff were useless as were Bath in Dublin. I would like to see Leinster do it again, but ASM will be a serious test in France. Ulster should beat Edinburgh, but then so should Toulouse.

    Munster were beaten by a better side on the day. How many times have Munster beaten sides with little or no possession?

    As for Turnips / Turnipstan, this is a term used by the keyboard warriors of Ulster and Leinster to describe us. Munster keyboard warriors refer to them as Todgers / Och Ochs and Lady Boys respectively. The new rugby fan is indeed to be admired.

  11.  

    My apologies to just singling out the Ulster folk! I was going to say it would be good for Irish rugby if Ulster won, but it would mean Munster down the pecking order, which is probably the case already.
    Ulster looking prrtty good all season, and I’d say whatever amount of them are left in Limerick will be tearing it up right now, and rightly so….
    Surely, surely, it’ll be good for the Irish team as a whole, but same thing said every year..
    Missed the game and can’t find highlights online at all….

  12.  

    It sounds like a joke. What’s the difference between an Ulster supporter and a Leinster supporter?

    Nothing!

  13.  

    They’re both a bunch of condascending sneering wank*rs?

  14.  

    What’s with the asterisks?

  15.  

    I try to be polite in my posts !! Though maybe a bit over the top summing those lot up….

  16.  

    Barry,

    Being a Leinster season ticket holder, your description is unrecognizable among the long-term Leinster fans I know. There are spotty faced wee bollixes hardly an hour out of Blackrock, but a couple of seasons without a European win, and they would disappear back to their barstools to watch English soccer. I followed the 2002 final in dismay – and cheered in 2006 and 2008.

    I shall be at the Stade Chaban-Delmas on 29th April (I happen to be in France that weekend) and, if the ASM Clermont-Auvergne back line really stirs itself (Wesley Fofana was asleep yesterday), I think Leinster will have trouble holding them.

  17.  

    Clermont looked very impressive yesterday, but I think Leinster have what it takes.

  18.  

    and the best of luck to ye Ian!

  19.  

    L’Equipe say that Ulster lost the 1999 final:

    . . . 13 ans après leur finale perdue face à Colomiers’

    http://www.lequipe.fr/Rugby/Actualites/Toute-premiere-fois/275920

    It should be possible for them to rewrite yesterday as a Munster victory.

  20.  

    While Clermont looked the business yesterday, Leinster probably have the wherewithal to take them. as Bordeaux, where the semi-final takes place, is over 300 km from Clermont.

    Poite, in my view, either has it in for Munster or else overcompensates to avoid becoming seen as a ‘hometown’ ref. In any case he is self-important and far too incompetent to be on the ‘elite panel’ of rugby referees.

    To provide two examples.

    Poite was five metres away from a blatant spear-tackle by Ulster’s tight-head Afoa on Felix Jones. Verdict? A knock on by Jones.

    Afoa will surely be cited.

    Poite also incorrectly called a knock-on when Coughlan failed to gather a free-kick he had taken at the first attempt.

    Having said that, Ulster fully deserved their win. They were the better team and the hungrier team.

    Yesterday’s result will definitely call into question Axel Foley’s readiness to assume the mantle that is being bequeathed by Tony McGahan. We also need a strong backs coach (no disrespect to Dutchy Holland intended) but yesterday’s display on lateral backs play is the last straw for me.

    Let’s not also forget that loosing this game has cost Munster Rugby well over a million euro. This will restrict our options.

    It seems to me that it will take a few years for things to come good. We’ll have to be patient and maybe suffer the ignominy languishing as the third placed Irish provence for a couple of seasons.

    Let’s hope we bring Nick Mallet to Munster

  21.  

    good photo, think i’m just out of picture to the right!

  22.  

    What was going on with those lads who took their shirts off?

  23.  

    Munster lost because they couldn’t overcome their rustiness and the battering from Ulster and Poite in the first 20 mins.Jesus how that French prick is getting away with it is beyond me.watched the match on TV since,Three penalty decisions went their way which made absolutely no sense whatsoever.
    This link to takes the piss though,scroll on to the next few pics and you’ll see him giving a scrum to them for a knockan when it was a straight red for Afoa, http://www.sportsfile.com/id/610740/ He rode us against the ABS,and many others but he can’t be left get away with this.
    Can’t blame the ref but ourselves for this beating though,things like holding on to Dutchy Holland as backs coach when he hasn’t ever grasped the concept of direction.We’re far too lateral,rudderless in attack and when it goes beyond ten it’s Keystone cops time.Let’s not forget we had over 90pc of the possesion in the second half.I dont care how good Ulster’s defense is we should have got a try.
    Time for a new coach,a world class one,The Irfu need to dig deep.irish rugby owes us for the successes we’ve spearheaded over the last 15 years.end of.

  24.  

    No physicality, no steel, no craftiness, do any side coming to TP look like they got a good hiding anymore ? Where is the ripped shirts ,bloodied bandages ?? We have developed a soft streak. Need to change . . .and fast !

Leave a Reply