Miracle Match — A Kind of Short Story

A moment in time

The little fella is sitting on my shoulders. He’s excited and it’s hard to blame him, but I know we’re up against it.

This is the best team in England, I tell him. We’d need a miracle, so don’t get your hopes up.

We get a penalty.

They get a penalty.

It’s 3 each.

We score a try. It’s 8-3.

They get a penalty. It’s 8-6.

We get a penalty. It’s 11-6.

We get a try. It’s 16-6.

We get a penalty.

The little fella tugs at my shoulder. 19-6 he says, but there’s only ten minutes left.

OK kid, I say. The home record’s intact.

We get a try. Jesus Christ, it’s 24-6.

18 ahead, but we need 27 clear and we need four tries. It can’t happen against the best team in England.

We convert. It’s 26-6.

People are turning around to look at each other. How much was it we needed?

Something happens, but we can’t see. It’s up the sideline in the corner. People are leaning out.

Oh Jesus, was that a try?

The little fella has a better view.  It was, he says.

31-6?   I don’t believe this. There’s only a few seconds left, and the conversion is from right on the edge. Can he do it?

If he can kick this, we’re through and the best team in England are out.

The little fella tugs at my shoulder. Is it OK if I get my hopes up?

10 thoughts on “Miracle Match — A Kind of Short Story

  1. I was in Australia for that game. Coming back from work i checked my phone and there was a text msg from my best mate. I wasn’t hoping for much bc I think the game before was a poor performance.
    I read the text and it says”Munster were fucking…. ” Ah shit, says i awful, don’t tell me we lost at home! scroll on… “… amazing! They did it with a last minute try. We’re through!” Yahooo! I let out a yelp and terrify the family in front of me, having to apologise.
    Great stuff! Sucks to miss it tho! At lest now I can catch the rugby on ‘tinterwb if i’m stuck.
    I have to make do with watching the 6 nations games delayed tomorrow, so I have to avoid the phone and laptop in the morning.

  2. I watched that in the stables in UL. The place was packed, great atmosphere. Great match.

    Didn’t it turn out that ROG actually didn’t have to make the kick for Munster to go through? He didn’t know it at the time though.

  3. He had to make the kick. That’s what he didn’t know.

    Gloucester didn’t realise it was a mistake to tap and go.

    Everyone was a bit confused that night. The players, the coaches and the supporters.

  4. True enough, there was a lot of confusion around that weekend.

    Nevermind leaving Gloucesters playbook in the back of a taxi!

  5. I too was in Oz Brian…listening to Len Dineen on 95fm…..quote from the last try of the game….”and its a try….who is it? who is it?….” 5 mins later he decides to inform us it was indeed a MUNSTER try,I couldnt give a flying fuck which player got it!as per usual we were afforded Len’s totally unneccesary agonising suspense added the way only Len can add it..I had chewed down to my knuckles at this stage,Len and I of course were also of the opinion of job done,what a game!4 days later the VHS arrived in the post thanks to my wonderful mother and all the Irish lads and a fair few Kiwis from the pub I was working in gathered in my flat to watch it again as if it were live,what a piss up!
    When you think back on the moments of ecstacy this team has afforded us over the past decade it becomes apparent how much we owe these guys,the great days far outweigh the bad and let’s hope we have another decade to come!
    Very well told story Bock,Saints up next,again!But I have a feeling we’ll have too much nous to get caught up in a forward orientated dogfight again,once our scrum and lineout is sorted out by Jerry’s return and Gert Smal’s knowledge I think we’ll finally get it out the backs and rip em apart.I do not understand why Munster don;t have a specialist scrum coach when it could not be more obvious that we need one now more than ever,but that’s for another day.
    Biarritz in San Sebastian in April I reckon…..bring it on!Paris is lovely in May too I hear …,pity the London Irish didnt do a number on the Dublin English but then again it would be great to have them in the final to give us our cup back.

  6. Ah yes chief, one of the great ones, although we never did get around to making that step to hang off the steel posts. It’s too late now, they’ve gone and changed the stadium.
    The fucker is too big to need it now anyways.

  7. Thanks for the flashback Bock. What a day.Im remembering jumping up and down at full time at the side of the stand with 6 Gardai, hugging and roaring like bulls. (I believe one or two were only in uniform to get through the gate…sssshhh..tell no-one..)

  8. Good luck in the Six Nation’s tomorrow; you should beat Italy and make a good start. We shall be playing the English (Obviously I’m Welsh). See you on 13th March.

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