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The aftermath: it's only a game after all...

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    The aftermath: it's only a game after all...

    Sorry with the trite thread title, but I had to post something.

    For some reason, at lunchtime yesterday I said to someone that I was actually looking forward to the end of the rugby season, whatever the outcome of the game. It's just felt like a really long and tiring journey with a huge amount of emotion: not least the tragic passing of Anthony Foley, which, at the end of the day, is the only thing that really matters about Munster Rugby this season. I hope that is never forgotten.

    Yesterday's match? Yes, I couldn't believe how BAD I felt once Scarlets built that unassailable lead. That hour from 7-8pm last night sitting in the Aviva was the worst I ever remember as a Munster supporter, and I was shell-shocked the whole way home last night.

    And, yes, if that's how I felt, I can't imagine what the players, coaches and staff are going through. I don't envy the players heading on Lions or Ireland tours, because they will have to lift themselves again really, really soon.

    And this morning came that dreaded morning-after feeling when you remember the result all over again.

    Anyway, I realised that it was time to cop myself on. There are a lot more important things in life than rugby. We all follow sport because we love it or take a huge interest in the outcomes of our teams and players. When you follow Munster, that seems to be a particularly emotional thing, and I'll admit, I'm bought in to all that. It is special.

    September will, no doubt, swing around soon enough, and Munster will start the journey again, and we'll be there with them. Life goes on.

    The sun has just peeped out, summer is here (believe it or not), and it's out there to be enjoyed. I'm happy with my Munster season, even if the end was a shudderingly hard stop. See you all September, and keep the faith!
    "I don't believe in fairytales," O'Connell once told me, "even though it feels like I've been lucky enough to live through a few. However it ends, I'll feel lucky."
    Donald McRae, Guardian Rugby, October 2015

    I felt like i was watching Cork Con or Young Mun in Munster jerseys.

    To be honest the Pro 12 needs this. Good to break the Irish dominance.

    Now wheres my Cork City Scarf. Life moves on as previous poster said.


      Its the end of May, no time for rugby..............Im glad that the next game I go to will be a hurling match.
      Anybody who sees a psychiatrist would want their head examined.*&nb sp;Henry Ford


        It's good for the Pro 12 in a sense to see teams like Connacht and Scarlets emerge as title winners. It's not in another sense since neither will ever be able to hold on to their star players which reinforces the image of the Pro 12 as a second tier competition.


          The disappointment is away... Maybe... Maybe not, but anyway. I have to cop on with that. The guys gave us a season as we could not expect 12 months sooner. EPRC semi, Pro12 final. I feel thankfull to them and the staff, and I hope the renewal will continue. Anyway, Munster is nowadays a great address and a respected and feared side again.
          Not to forget how incredible the Scarlets' season ends: Not any team can give us such a lesson like yesterday and can kick our ass as they did, after having done the same the Blue Shirts, after having done the same to the Ospreys, after they did the same in Galway. Theywon their last 7 games in a row, and clearly outplayed the three other semi-final contenders. They were all but ridiculous in EPRC against Toulon they beat on the will and Sarries as they dropped the victory after the 80th minute. And most of all, they play their game, no matter who they meet, and they are rewarded by a prolific amount of points and tries. They have beaten us yesterday in speed, in rage, in defensive organization, collectivelly.We did not find any key, did not dominate them in the fight, in the conquest for the ball, we did not have the shadow of a chance yesterday, as had'nt Leinster, Ospreys, Connacht in the last weeks. They play a really attractive rugby, I think they are doubtless the best Pro12 team of this end of season, what make them the best celtic team by years. All we can wish to them is to transcribe this on the european scene.
          And all I wish to us is to continue the development of the team which will allow us to climb the last steps to the the Top. I only fear the Lions Tour won't help Rassie and his mates.
          I wish you a nice summer, I thank you all for the season, Gwan Munster!
          "To be energetic and self-sufficing is to be happy; but while one desire remains in the heart happiness may not come there. For to desire is to be incomplete: it is the badge of dependence, the signal of unhappiness, and to be freed from that is to be freed from every fetter that can possibly be forged." (James Stephens, Deirdre)


            Last night I had bad thoughts going through my head and I decided not to post here. I woke up this morning and some of the bad thoughts were still there, namely:

            1) were some of the players minding themselves with thoughts of Japan or the Lions in their mind?

            The way that they fell off of some tackles suggested that this was a factor. CJ looks fatigued and with the Lions tour ahead he looks like a guy who is being asked to climb a mountain knowing that he will then have to traverse the Himalayas.

            2) Is this Munster team a relatively average one that looked good simply because of the emotional boost they got after Anthony's death?

            It's difficult to say but the fact that they looked pedestrian in the very early part of the season and after begun to look pedestrian again is slightly worrying. We'll see what next season brings.

            3) Was this team simply poorly prepared or not mentally focused?

            A lot of people remember Ireland's great victory over England the year we won the Grand Slam; the forwards were top notch and Drico scrambled over for a try after getting about three head high tackles from Armitage and Flutey. What nobody remembers is that ROG had a terrible game with the boot and was missing easy kicks. Just an example of one guy having an off game, it happens but you can still win if the team in general in prepared. Yesterday a whole host of players had an off-game (I've never seen John Ryan play so poorly) and the unforced errors were terrible. If one guy has an off-game that's bad luck but if numerous players have an off-game then that's more than bad luck.

            My mind is struggling to put things in perspective now. In about a month I'll probably be able to say that this was a good season but right now I can only think of yesterday.

            One other thing, for those with short memories who state that yesterday was the worst Munster performance they ever saw, feast your eyes on this.


              Many were happy that we didn't have to face Leinster and lose to Them. To lose to the Scarlets isn't as bad but we were never going to beat them either. Too limited and too predictable, a complete contrast to the Scarlets. We got what we deserved. Hard to take but no choice.


                Not sure I agree with the "we were never going to beat them". We showed enough spark against Ospreys last week for that not to be the case, and it's not as though that was a one-off - we did similar against Racing, against Glasgow (every time), against Leicester at home, Leinster at home, Racing, Toulouse etc etc etc. Our performance yesterday was simply out of step with the performances we'd been putting in all season.

                I had no illusions or assumptions about yesterday - I knew that it would be a huge challenge, that Scarlets were one of the few sides to get a big win over us already this season and that they were in a rich vein of form coming into the game. But our performance was ... the best word I can think of right now is "uncharacteristic". Not only in terms of the amount of unforced errors - and christ knows, there were enough of those - but also in terms of dealing with the challenges they presented at the breakdown, the fast ball, the attacking down the tramlines with the (to my eyes) utterly predictable overlaps. But we'd faced all this already, and seen from the Leinster-Scarlets semifinal that it was coming again. We really, really should have been better prepared for dealing with it, more capable of dealing with it, and the fact that we weren't is unsettling. It jars with the impression I've formed of both our coaching ticket and certain players whom I had never, ever previously had cause to question.

                I'm not long home, so haven't watched the recording of the game yet, and we were sitting so high (with no visibility of either big screen) that often enough it was difficult to make out exactly what had happened down on the pitch, so this is somewhat unqualified - but my thoughts from being at the game are that I can only point to Niall Scannell, Andrew Conway and Keith Earls as being players who fronted up and delivered a performance worthy of the occasion. That's just ... weird.
                Tis but a scratch.


                  I agree that many of the team looked fatigued, even the previous week at the Ospreys game and wonder if the emotional toll of the season caught up with them. Maybe they wanted it too much and could not get to the required intensity level - that level we hear about of fire in the belly / ice in the mind which leads to an aggressive defence and excellent execution.. Hopefully the players and management will pinpoint the issues and address them for next season.
                  My final blog of this season:


                    We lost, but did not give up. We capitulated to Connacht last season at the Sportsground, a shocking performance. Yesterday we were well beaten by a better team. That happens.

                    Looking forward to next year but Rassie, we need an attacks coach.
                    Has Fineen put Johnny down yet?


                      Must admit, I''d feel a damn sight better about it all if we weren't watching some of our key players head off to NZ, or indeed to Japan, when IMHO solid downtime plus a decent pre-season would be a damn sight more beneficial. And in some cases, I have little doubt, medically advisable.

                      We are watching these lads flog themselves and it does not sit right with me.

                      Something needs to be done about the length of season & number of games.


                        The objectives that we asked for here for the season were achieved. Home semi in the league and home QF in the EC. Some talented players have come through (Sweetnam, the Scannells, Oliver, Goggin to name a few). The A's won the B&I Cup. Thomond Park is back to old fortress. Things are looking bright for the season ahead.

                        As an aside could the other locked thread be deleted? I hate seeing that title on the forum.
                        He's a guy who gets up at six o'clock in the morning regardless of what time it is.


                          For sure the financially beneficial targets were met.