Sometimes it would be better to stay at home and watch a game on the television. At least that way, you can switch it off, or do press-ups or kick the dog, or whatever takes your fancy, but when you venture out on a freezing cold night, the least you’d hope for would be a contest. You would sincerely hope that the other side shows up.
A match is a lot like a take-away meal. Half the enjoyment is in looking forward to it, and both of them can leave you feeling sick or feeling empty.
There are plenty of followers in all sports who like nothing better than a miserable, boring match followed by a home win, but I hate that. What’s the point of going to the game when you could just as easily read the result in the paper?
I’m not saying Glasgow failed to turn up, because that would be disrespectful to a Munster team who wrapped them up, neutralised them and dismantled them for 77 of the 80 minutes. It was a solid, workmanlike job by the home side, punctuated by moments of brilliance such as CJ Stander’s tremendous pitch-long run to touch down, leaving the Glasgow runners flatfooted.
I’m not saying that Glasgow failed to turn up, because that would show Munster in a poor light..
No. Wait. I am saying that. Munster’s handling was at times very shaky, the lineout wasn’t as clinical as you might expect and there was a general feeling of flatness to their whole performance. Yet Glasgow only managed to get 3 points from a penalty in the first two minutes. To put it another way, Glasgow did nothing.
Next week will probably be a different proposition when Saracens roll into town, or at least, I hope so, since we’ll all be out there shouting, but this evening was a strangely empty experience. I can’t quite explain why, considering the fact that the home team ran away with it.
I left Thomond Park still feeling hungry, but tonight it wasn’t that my meal failed to fill me up. No, indeed. Tonight I didn’t even manage to nibble the noodles before they fell on the pavement. I just stood there looking down at them and wondering how that happened.
That’s not a great feeling.