Munster Rugby — a time for hard decisions

Munster rugby looking into the abyss

Munster rugby

What can you say about Munster’s  crushing defeat to a fourteen-man Stade Francais?

There’s no end to the superlatives: abysmal, humiliating, disgraceful, appalling.

My personal choice is shite.

Munster were shite.

They couldn’t even beat a team that was missing a player for the entire second half. In fact it was hard to know which side was down to fourteen players. They failed for the second year in a row to make the play-off stages of the European Cup, and whatever we might think the reasons are for that, there’s no doubt where the buck stops.

The fact is that Anthony Foley and his management team have failed to deliver what they were hired to deliver and you might say that’s because they don’t have the resources, or you might say it’s because they don’t have the players, but that would only be making excuses. The fact is that they have failed, whatever the reasons, and pretending otherwise will do Munster rugby no good.

But don’t listen to me. Listen to Alan Quinlan.


And while you’re at it, see what CJ Stander had to say after the game.


We rightly place a high value on loyalty here, as well as doggedness, determination and a little bitterness to keep an edge on things, but loyalty is one thing, while blind, unquestioning allegiance is quite another. Such uncritical belief  does us no good as we risk slipping into obscurity, long removed from the glory days of not so long ago.

We can’t do this.

Let’s have the debate and let’s have the discussion.

Was Foley the right choice to take over from Rob Penney?

Did Foley choose the right people for his management team?

Do some people have a divine right to manage Munster simply because they were once great servants of rugby?

How did the plan go so disastrously wrong? And let’s be straight about it — failing twice in two years to reach the knock-out stages is a disaster.

Speaking personally, my only question is this: since Foley and his management team have twice demonstrated their inability to deliver a result, should they have the opportunity to fail disastrously for a third time?

Isn’t it time to make our cows a little less sacred?


11 thoughts on “Munster Rugby — a time for hard decisions

  1. I would like to make one comment in response to the criticism of the management team. In all sports a good player does not necessarily make a good coach. Modern coaching is a skill which is partly inate in the individual but which can which also can be taught using modern scientific sports psychology methods. While Messrs Foley, O’Driscoll, Flannery & O’Donovan were all talented players in their time it does not follow that are automatically good coaches in the modern game which has moved on significantly from the “ball up the jumper” mentality.

    We can play the Munster loyalty shite all day but it counts for nothing if coaching methods do not produce results on the field of play, this just pisses off not only the players but the supporters too. Time for the old school brigade to go in my view, there are paid as professional and are not producing the goods, next please.

  2. Bock,

    I think an assessment of the weaknesses might be clearer if there was transparency about the budget available. Who else could have been appointed with the money being offered?

    The IRFU have run the provinces as feeder teams for the international side, believing one could create a world class side in such a way – the match against Argentina in October shattered that aspiration.

    I think we may have reached a point where the model adopted by the IRFU may need to be superseded by free-standing clubs that are allowed to generate their own income and make their own decisions.

  3. As a big Munster supporter… I’m effin.. gutted with the 2nd time in a row of being knocked out of Europe.
    Munster aren’t the big power house of a team they once were… it’s 8 years since they made an impact in Europe…
    As per management & co….. they had 2 years in charge… and on both occasions they have been kicked out of Europe….
    There are no leaders in the team.. since the departure of POC & ROG..
    In my opinion Stander is outstanding….. he can’t do it all by him self.. the rest need to come up to par with him.

    Foley & co have to go…….
    They haven’t performed as a coach or background staff…
    It wouldn’t be allowed in most industries..

    Alan Quinlan spoke form the heart…..

  4. If success depended solely on players, Munster could have won the Heineken Cup with any of us as head coach rather than with Declan Kidney!

    Does anyone have any idea on the relative levels of remuneration received by coaches in European rugby?

  5. The munster team which is haunting this piece would have won Europe without a coach. .

    That team became unbeatable …became the finished article in team rugby evolution.

    they were also riddled with talent and capability .

    Without the fortuitous talent though, they would not have had success. None. Zero.

    And it’s not fair to the current crop, to compare them to Paul O’Connell’s team.

    It would’nt matter if Steve Hanson or Joe Schmidt were coaching last Saturday. .their marginal influence would not have been even 1% effective in making any difference.

    Stade’s grizzly bear front & 2nd rows dominated the red front 5 &.behind this non battle. . there might be 2 red players to hold their place on the french side.

    To be honest I didn’t understand what foley said to the IT yesterday and it didn’t sound like he was thinking clearly drive on…..

    But until you get a grizzly bear front 5 we’re finished with Europe. .doesn’t matter who coaches them .and that’s starters only. .a pair of rock hard world class centres are needed too…..& 2 adds for a new back 3.

    Then u have a chance. …

    I think u could have a proper moan if a competitive team had lost. .but the current team are out of their depth

  6. But as soon as Kidney left the “unbeatable” team were to play second fiddle to Leinster

    The current team are presumably all that can be afforded. Anyone who looked at the signings last summer knew Munster were beginning the season looking threadbare (I made this observation to Herr Bock last June), so unless the Irish provinces are going to simply give up, some way has to be found of making the most of the resources available

  7. It’s a tough, difficult game and the players bring their personal issues to training. …so said kidney in his first ever munster interview. .

    He was good for munster.

    The point u make on leinster is the real question I think.

    I expect us to be competitive against them no matter what happens on their side or ours

    The war might be in France but the battles must first be wom in donnebrook and Galway and Belfast. .Newport, Cardiff, Edinburgh and the valleys.

    Sack the coach if u must but I think if we support him, he knows how to bring the gear to these places and say his cupla focal to inspire his team to win.. but in this league first. ….and be patient for the next golden generation or for an abramavich to gift us the talent to take on toulon or Stade or clermont or saracans.

    Players win matches.

  8. The Coach and his backroom team come up with the game plan for whoever they are up against. Munster at present appear to have no game plan, and have looked this way for some time. The try that was fortuitously scored last Saturday was our backs first try in seven games. Staggering statistic on its own. Foley must go, and the rest of the coaching ticket must go with him.

  9. Jesus Bock, it would be good if you were to come out out of retirement just once to express your thoughts on the passing of Axel Foley, just for old time’s sake.

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