Rugby heaven

It’s been a great weekend for Irish rugby, starting with Connacht’s first Heineken Cup victory, 9–8 against English high-fliers Harlequins on Friday night. Yesterday Pauline and I watched the Leinster–Montpelier match in a pub in Virginia, and the Northampton–Munster match in our local.

Leinster comfortably beat Montpelier 25–3 to finish their group unbeaten, but we had no way of knowing what would follow – one of those stunning, gargantuan performances that Munster have produced regularly over the years, ever since they beat Toulouse 31–25, away, in the 2000 semi-final (clips from that match below).

To play Northampton (beaten finalists last year) away and score 51 points despite being crucified in the scrums was simply amazing, and the emergence of O’Mahony and Zebo this season augurs well for the future. This game summed up why Sean loved Munster so deeply.

Ulster lost narrowly away to Clermont Auvergne, but still go through, so for the first time there will be three Irish teams in the quarter-finals.

Munster had reached the quarter-finals 12 times previously, but had never before won all six group games. Now last year’s disappointment is consigned to history, and both they and Leinster have a chance to become the first club to go through a Heineken Cup game unbeaten.

Before that, of course, there is the Six Nations to look forward to.

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7 Comments

Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories, Sport

7 responses to “Rugby heaven

  1. papaguinea

    Brendano, I am out of breath having just watched Spurs narrowly fail to beat City (Defoe inches from making it 2-3). And fuming at Balotelli remaining on the pitch after the referee failed to see Mario stamping on Parker’s head. Spurs are quoted now at 25 to 1. for the title. I quite fancy that. .

    I missed the rugby, but glad for you that Munster and Leinster won. What a track record Munster have in this cup competition. Was is it about them? I’m watching Man U now vs Arsenal with some indifference. I think I’ll open a bottle of wine – that should get me shouting again, but which way!

  2. Thanks, PapaG … a big North London v. Manchester day … which way will you shout, indeed? 🙂

    I haven’t been able to watch the football (no Sky), but have been keeping an eye on the scores …. I was sure, of course, that Spurs had got a draw. Must watch highlights later as it sounds like an amazing game, with four goals in 10 minutes.

    I wouldn’t say they’re out of the race yet.

    • papaguinea

      I have a feeling that Man City may implode. Also that in the final run in it will all close up – well that’s my hope innit!

  3. Brendano, a Good New Year to you and yours.

    I had popped in earlier today to do this but got waylaid to watch Embra qualifying as third seeds and Cardiff Blues blowing top spot in our pool. Poor Dan Parkes!

    We’ll probably get gubbed by Toulouse in the quarters but who cares? At long last, the era of ‘Soctland’ ( I will probably never forget your spelling it that way) rugby may be beginning to be over and I can take a proper pride again. So, I’m in Rugby heaven as well tonight.

    • Hello John … good to see you. Happy New Year to you and yours as well.

      Congrats to Edinburgh on making the QFs. Given that home advantage is so important and that Toulouse lost two group matches, I think Edinburgh must have a fair chance (Toulouse did win away in the QFs last year, but that was just a short trip to Biarritz). Perhaps a Munster-Edinburgh SF? I think that’s the way the draw has gone.

      Good luck to Scotland in a fortnight’s time.

  4. I’ll be in Dublin for the Ireland v Wales match guys – good luck – always have a great time there even though I never go to the match itself!

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