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    NZ herald recalls’ 78



    Rugby: Legacy of Limerick still very much alive
    Page 1 of 2 View as a single page 4:00AM Sunday Nov 09, 2008
    By Gregor Paul


    All Blacks' Grand Slam tour
    All Blacks continue dominance against Scotland
    Gregor Paul: All Blacks sloppy against enterprising Scots
    In October 1978, Ireland's national broadcaster, RTE, was preparing to launch a second channel. No one at the corporation thought it would be worthwhile taking a camera to Thomond Park, Limerick, on October 31.


    Munster were playing the All Blacks and the inevitable rout would not make great TV.


    So the cameras stayed away until the final 10 minutes when they were rushed into the ground in the hope they could capture history. Munster, little old Munster, had beaten the mighty All Blacks 12-0.


    But 30 years on, those who played for Munster that day aren't angry or sad the moment was never captured on film. The absence of pictures has allowed the legend to grow.


    "As time goes by, we can tell a few more lies and the story gets bigger and bigger," says Christy Cantillon, the flanker for Munster who scored the game's only try.


    The legend of Munster's victory will be given plenty of air time before the game on November 18. The heroes of 1978 will be asked to recount their memories of that famous day and, to a man, they will add a bit here and there and leave their audience transfixed.



    tMunster's win remains the most famous upset in world rugby. The biggest because the Irish have a story-telling gift that allows them to romanticise like no other nation.


    The tale of that game is now a global epic, supported with a book and a play _ and probably a film to come.


    It has all the ingredients required _ a world famous international team, an underdog, a ramshackle old ground and supporters who would die for the cause.


    Quite how much of an underdog Munster were is recalled by Cantillon. "We were quite worried about being hammered. The All Blacks had beaten everyone decisively in England and Wales.


    "They had beaten London Division by about 35 points I think. Some time before we had been over and played Middlesex and they had beaten us 33-7 and only four of their players had made it into the London side.


    "So if you went mathematically, there were some who were saying that we might lose to the All Blacks by 70 points. Playing the All Blacks is not a chance you get very often and none of us wanted to let Munster down, to let our friends and families down."


    The trip to London had been an eye-opener for Munster coach Tom Kiernan and when the side returned to Ireland he shifted training to an army barracks. A car was put at each corner of the ground with the lights turned on and that was it, Munster had their floodlights and the players had no escape from a brutal fitness regime.


    "It was tough, really tough training," recalls Cantillon. Of course, team joker Moss Keane managed to regularly hide behind one of the cars, to ensure he never had to slog through 12 laps with everyone else.






    Kiernan felt his team had to improve their fitness and knowledge.


    A friend in Wales got Kiernan footage of some of the All Blacks games in England and Wales which the players had to study.


    "We were able to see what the All Blacks were doing," says Cantillon. "They were playing very open rugby and they regularly used a move where Stu Wilson would come off his wing either inside or outside the out-half."


    The research paid dividends. In the early minutes, the All Blacks were dominant and set themselves up to bring in Wilson. "He came outside the fly-half so he was Seamus Dennison's man _ if he had come inside, he would have been mine _ and the little fella pole-axed him. Five minutes later and they called the same move and you could see that Wilson wasn't keen to do it again.


    "Tom Kiernan liked to keep things really simple. We kept the ball behind them and then we tried to defend like bejesus. We put all our small fellas at t

    #2
    Good article!

    Loved the piece RTE did last night before the Irish game about Thomond Park/Munster/1978

    Stand up and fight

    Comment


      #3


      Originally posted by sparks
      Good article!

      Loved the piece RTE did last night before the Irish game about Thomond Park/Munster/1978

      That was a fantastic piece alright. Hopefully it will make its way on to youtube.[img]smileys/wink.gif[/img]

      Comment


        #4

        Originally posted by sparks
        Good article!

        Loved the piece RTE did last night before the Irish game about Thomond Park/Munster/1978
        Was at the game, so didn't get a chance to see it.

        Comment


          #5
          They should have had it on big screen.
          Stand up and fight

          Comment


            #6


            Originally posted by KapKremmen
            Originally posted by sparks
            Good article!

            Loved the piece RTE did last night before the Irish game about Thomond Park/Munster/1978
            Was at the game, so didn't get a chance to see it.

            Was at the game too, but I taped it.[img]smileys/cool.gif[/img]

            Comment


              #7
              The RTE piece was cringeworthy rubbish imo.

              Comment


                #8
                [img]smileys/shock.gif[/img]

                Comment


                  #9


                  I don't think for one moment that piece that RTE did


                  prior to the game was (cringeworthy or rubbish)


                  it was an excellent mini Doc, it made me vey proud of


                  the Team I support and the city Iwas bornin, well done to RTE/Tom MCg,


                  good to see Limerick getting good press ratherthen the usual


                  bad pressitgets !!!!!!!!!

                  Comment


                    #10


                    It was way too dramatic, and i as a munsterfan found it nearly embaressing to a degree in the way it was done. Might have been alright if it wasnt for McGurk.


                    Id appreciate how some people would have liked it, but that type of thing just isint my cup of tea.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Well your entitled to your view like the rest of us.......

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Have watched it again, you can see it on the RTE Website, although it's poor quality stream.

                        I thought that while it was very misty-eyed and churning out the usual guff about Munster's history, we have to remember what a fantastic history we DO have in Munster and in Thomond Park!

                        Busbi, I know exactly where you're coming from mate, it's some of the clichéd romantic bullsh*t we have been listening to for years from the likes of Farrelly and co in the Meedja.

                        However, this is what has resulted from our success as a team and supporters, our memorable and sometimes unbelievable results against the likes of Gloucester, Sale, Wasps, Stade, Biarritz, Saracens, and the unbelievable support and atmosphere we've had at those games, not forgetting the great Munster Senior Cup games also played there too. It has all added up to this team and the brand of Munster that we support today. It's pretty inevitable that misty-eyed stuff like this will be the result of all that we created, but if ya take it with a pinch of salt, smile and enjoy it, as we, the supporters over the years helped to create this Beast of Munster, well it ain't all that bad! [img]smileys/wink.gif[/img]

                        Comment

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