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  • Munster scrapes a 11 - 10 victory against London Irish

    by 99_oK?

    Just back from de game......And as the gaa lads say, twas a game o' 2 halves..., and then again you could say the 2nd half alone was another 2 halves.....


    First half we went through the motions, so did LI. Keatley kicked one (& missed an early one). In some ways 'twas like watching paint dry - or Ireland playing Scotland, or ........Engeerland (under Johnson...) playin' anyone..... No way was a try going to be manufactured; decent defense (both sides), doing the standard moves, nothing was going to happen. Yeah, we had a decent enough scrum, decent enough line-out (better than Ireland anyway....), and we didn't make too many mistakes. But we didn't look like we could do any scoring either - in a word - boring. Half-time couldn't come quick enough.

    However after HT we started to see some rugby - and immediately. Micko collected the KO (Ireland could learn to do that too....), and Strings started to distribute (yeah, it's what a real SH does...) the ball; left, right, pops - all what a good SH should be doing. Oh, I should have said that as well as Strings, Varley also started the 2nd half - and man is he refreshed - carrying ball, bustin' tackles, making tackles, even throwing straight darts. 'Twas a totally different game. We were now watching rugby and LI had to raise their game to stop us scoring (we also knocked on a couple when we had 'em ripped open - nevermind, 'twas drizzlin by then). In any case I (& most others*) was watching a game. What a change. Try eventually came - steal by Micko, String and Keats doing a few quick passes and moves and then switching to the other side rapidly; bingo TRY. Pity Keats missed the extras.

    That seemed to wake LI up too, they subbed a few and Hodgson (SH) was also flying. We had to do some tackling (but we were too porous at times too). We still stood 'em up when they were almost in touch. We eventually turned 'em over under the posts and Keats found a safe touch. They took a quick one, but then the TJ started waving his thingy; seems a few of the lads in both packs got too friendly after Keats had found touch. Anyway the dangerous-looking attack seemed to be averted while Rollo was going to give both packs a bit of a verbal - or so we all thought..... Well, there was only about 15 mins left and we seemed to playing fine (& looking dangerous when we had the ball) at this stage. People started leaving, 'twas all over, or so it seemed......

    But Rollo had other ideas.....

    After a (very) brief consult with the TJ right in front of us, he went out into the pitch and curled his little finger. One lad up under the stand started yelling at Rollo that his 'tea was getting cold', and to get on with it. And yep he did..... First 'twas a yella for Borlase (just on the field) - gasps all around after that - after all it was a friendly, then even more gasps - a straight red - wtf..! This wasn't Brownlee or Pinetree, nobody died, or nobody was even on the ground (or hit as far as we could see). And after all this was a friendly. Anyway game started again and we had to sub a prop - no rest for the wicked.... :(

    This whole surreal episode seemed to catch Munster off balance more than LI. Waht was the little (ex...) SH (not Strings) up to? Maybe he needed to make De papers after not making O'Briens list of NZ lovers..... Who knows? (cue a Christy Moore song on this...). Anyway, another tackle, ruck and penno.???? - nobody seemed to know why, but we reckoned he was about to even it up with his penno, or was he? Wrong - again. Rollo was playing cards like he was in the inner sanctum in Vegas and this one wasn't the Ace of Spades - yellow for Ronan! Did I say wtf? I should have said WTF...!

    OK, we're still leading and only a few minutes (+ how much ET..?) to hold out, maybe even win the ball back and hold on for a while. So LI sub a few more and lift it again; Man down and we're under pressure here. Then Micko decided enough was enough and busted a ruck. Pity Varley followed up, or did they gather the ball back in (we all swore the ball was out after Micko busted 'em, but then I don't have Rollo's eyes...). But, again, Rollo went for the big call - yella for Varley....!!!! What did we ever do to Mary's (Templeville version) Alain? I've even had pints with a young lad that now has a bar in a small town in SW France there. What are you doing to us?

    The inevitable rush came. Even Stringer's excellent cover tackling couldn't save this one. Try, conversion.... and game over. 11-10. We won, but wtf was Rollo up to? Someone must have stood on his corns at some stage.

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    * I'm not sure everyone there was clued in. There wasn't much silence (for kickers), the lady explaining to the crowd of Yanks in front of us hadn't a clue (I can't stand commentary during a game, but she didn't even know what was going on on the pitch, but could she please shut it for a moment - at least she left with 10 (+ 4.5 extra...), so we had some comfort for the end.


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    So what did we learn:
    Micko can still play and lead. He's a good 'un still.
    Varley is back and in good nick. He'll be useful as the season goes on.
    Hurley (Denis) showed a few touches too and he seems to have that bit of bulk and power now.
    Mafs and Dougie are not up to speed yet, but are going to be.
    We have a front-row! Rautenbach is a destructive 'un and he only busted one scrum (& so did we...)
    Kudos to Archer, Sherry, Horan, Du Preez and Varley - well done lads. Nice to see Marcus doing the basics too.
    Keatley wasn't bad, but he needs kicking lessons from RoG - he'll get 'em.
    On that note, what was it with the Rhino ball? It took a few awful flights from what seemed like straight-forward kicks (& from both sides).

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    And nice to be back in TP... :o


    Now, does anyone have news on the 'A' game ?
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