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Congratulations to Munster on leading the way in European Rugby

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    Congratulations to Munster on leading the way in European Rugby

    "In securing a record 10th home Champions Cup quarter-final, Munster will face French powerhouse Toulon on the weekend of March 30/31/April 1 at Thomond Park.
    Munster lead the way in reaching the knock-out stages of the competition on 17 occasions."

    It's time to congratulate this group of players for making an impact on European rugby in the way their predecessors did up to 2000.

    These lads, players, coaches, physios and all the support staff are getting very close to making a final.

    We did that in 2000 and surprised ourselves. I think Munster today have an institutional memory thanks to Niall O'D, Fla and a few more who, though not members of staff, are available to management and players (Deccie, Gaillaimh, POC, Claw etc).

    And what an opportunity for J Van G, for Felix and Fla.

    I think Munster is ready for an assault on the summit, with enough talent, strength in depth and innovation among the coaches.

    Are we the best team at the moment? No.

    But we have time to improve, with Tyler, Jaco and GG to come in, with JOD looking sensational and with our backs looking like a serious outfit for the first time since 2008.

    So welcome Toulon. You have no idea how long we have been waiting.
    Last edited by rathbaner; 21st-January-2018, 21:47.
    Munster – Champions of Europe 2006, 2008, 2019.

    #2
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    "We are going to hope to keep improving the environment in Munster. It’s about improving and setting standards where players and coaches can improve. Hopefully we can offer that more than just money.” Johann Van Graan 20/12/2017

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by rathbaner View Post
      .....

      So welcome Toulon. You have no idea how long we have been waiting.
      And if the guy with the missing teeth who robbed my flag in Stade Felix Mayor after the game we lost in 2011, or the woman who spilled my beer outside the stadium in Marseilles in 2014, are coming over..... I haven't forgotten you either!!!
      "There are a lot of points that we’ve left behind and this is with a young group. That probably tells you what they’re capable of and that they’re a very good side.

      Probably next year or the year after next they will take some stopping"

      Anthony Foley, May 2016. Axel RIP

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Waterfordlad View Post
        And if the guy with the missing teeth who robbed my flag in Stade Felix Mayor after the game we lost in 2011, or the woman who spilled my beer outside the stadium in Marseilles in 2014, are coming over..... I haven't forgotten you either!!!
        Got drunk and gave my Munster top to a Toulon fan... we were well beaten down there so would be great to return the favour

        R.

        Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by TokyoCrusaders92 View Post
          Got drunk and gave my Munster top to a Toulon fan... we were well beaten down there so would be great to return the favour

          R.

          Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
          I was with you and your brother John in 2011, TC92, I think
          "There are a lot of points that we’ve left behind and this is with a young group. That probably tells you what they’re capable of and that they’re a very good side.

          Probably next year or the year after next they will take some stopping"

          Anthony Foley, May 2016. Axel RIP

          Comment


            #6
            Yes... have vague memories of a bar Paul Wallace and a few others... great weekend...

            R.

            Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

            Comment


              #7
              No accident the Munster game was last a fitting finale to the group stages. Munster are "BOX Office"

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Waterfordlad View Post
                And if the guy with the missing teeth who robbed my flag in Stade Felix Mayor after the game we lost in 2011, or the woman who spilled my beer outside the stadium in Marseilles in 2014, are coming over..... I haven't forgotten you either!!!

                Or when I ordered Steak Tartare later on that evening. I was surprised that the waiter never asked me how I'd like it done. Imagine my disgust when he landed a raw burger in front of me. The rest of the lads had a great laugh.

                I haven't forgotten either.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by The Yak View Post
                  Or when I ordered Steak Tartare later on that evening. I was surprised that the waiter never asked me how I'd like it done. Imagine my disgust when he landed a raw burger in front of me. The rest of the lads had a great laugh.

                  I haven't forgotten either.
                  In all fairness thats on you... And the lads

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by The Yak View Post
                    Or when I ordered Steak Tartare later on that evening. I was surprised that the waiter never asked me how I'd like it done. Imagine my disgust when he landed a raw burger in front of me. The rest of the lads had a great laugh.

                    I haven't forgotten either.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      What might have been ....................

                      Had we gathered one more point over the 6 games, we'd have reached 22 and made 2nd seed (we have abetter point differential that Clermont) !

                      It's still amighty achievement to be where we are this morning, and I reckon there's more than a few supporters starting to plan a weekend away in Bilbao come May !!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        http://www.brittanyferries.ie/ferry-...nd-spain-route

                        Ideal.
                        He's a guy who gets up at six o'clock in the morning regardless of what time it is.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by redherring View Post
                          Jesus can you imagine that trip, they'd need helicopters to do a mid ocean bar refuelling.

                          Sent from my HTC 10 using Tapatalk

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Gerry Thornley: Now going gets tougher for Leinster and Munster

                            Leo Cullen’s men host champions Saracens while Toulon travel to Thomond Park

                            about 4 hours ago
                            Gerry Thornley
                            0




                            Munster’s Simon Zebo scores a try against Castres at Thomond Park. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inph
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                            Leinster and Munster cannot meet before the final after yesterday’s results contrived to leave them in opposite halves of the knock-out stages in the European Champions Cup. They each have home quarter-finals, but will be faced by Saracens and Toulon – the two clubs that have won the last five trophies between them.

                            Munster’s 48-3 bonus point win in their delayed Pool 4 finale against Castresat Thomond Park elevated them to third in the last eight seedings, so earning them a quarter-final against Toulon at the same venue on the last weekend in March.
                            Ulster’s 26-7 defeat against Wasps in the Ricoh Arena knocked them out of the competition, and also granted a lifeline to Saracens. The back to back champions will now face Leinster, most probably in the Aviva Stadium, which doesn’t seem like much of a reward for Leo Cullen’s men as the only side to progress through the group stages unbeaten.

                            Although the draw for the semi-final rewards away winners, at least Leinster have given themselves a chance of also hosting a semi-final in the Aviva. Should they beat Saracens and the Scarlets beat La Rochelle, Leinster would have home country advantage, whereas if La Rochelle won, the semi-final would be played in France.
                            On the other side of the draw, if Munster progress, they are resigned to being in France, as either Clermont or Racing would have home country advantage, but in qualifying for the knock-out stages for a 17th time, Munster had achieved their primary goal, a tenth home quarter-final.

                            “I’ve read a bit about quarter-finals and home teams are in a very good spot to win it,” said van Graan. “Obviously with the home crowd, just to experience again tonight what happened out there, the noise level, the way the people of Munster stick to this group of players and this team. Obviously it’s a lot easier to play at home.

                            “Imagine if we’d had to go to La Rochelle or Toulon. I don’t want to sound too clever. I’ve only been here a few weeks so it will be my first quarter-final, but I’m very, very happy that it’s at Thomond Park.”
                            Having thanked the players, management, ground staff and supporters, van Graan also saw a home quarter-final as a deserving reward for the home crowd.


                            “I got a bit of goosebumps before the game when the team ran around the field. It seemed a lot louder than before, and we knew this was going to be tough but once the team got momentum they got an extra few gears and I’m very happy about the home support.”

                            The unscheduled three-hour delay contributed to a slightly surreal and poignant day, in which Limerick said goodbye to another icon, Dolores O’Riordan, with tracks by the Cranberries played before kick-off, at half-time and post-match. A track on each home match day hereafter would be apt.
                            Bonus point

                            The deferred 4pm kick-off due a slightly flooded pitch did not effectively alter the picture for Munster, even though Racing beat Leicester at Welford Road in the interim. Anything less than victory would mean elimination, while a win would secure a quarter-final and a win with a bonus point would ensure a home quarter-final.
                            However, as events transpired in Pool One, by early in the second half a win of any hue would have sufficed to earn Munster a home quarter-final.

                            They had already managed the three-hour delay, during which time the squad returned to their hotel and van Graan actually asked the players to switch off from the match as the management adapted the game plan for a dryer pitch. Hence, although the management were aware of the reduced target, van Graan said they were not of a mind to upset Munster’s increasingly effective rhythm at the start of the second half.

                            “Once we started moving forward we said whatever happens now we will take whoever comes to Thomond Park. But I was still nervous until we hit the 40-point mark because rugby is a very strange game but I was aware [that a bonus point was no longer required] and all credit to the players. We said ‘let’s stay in our bubble as team and what happens on the field we will adapt and manage that.’ I thought they did it brilliantly.”

                            Leinster could afford to sit back and enjoy watching yesterday’s events unfold knowing they had secured top seeding going into the knock-out stages courtesy of their 23-14 win away to Montpellier on Saturday, and so they will seek to become only the second team to lift the trophy with a perfect nine wins from nine.
                            The net effect was to give themselves the chance of a home semi-final, and so should they beat Saracens, they would be at home if the Scarlets also won.

                            Leo Cullen commented: “The challenge doesn’t get any easier against a Saracens team looking for three Champion Cup titles in a row. They’re well coached under Mark McCall and have an array of English and foreign talent at their disposal and they’re showing good form in Europe and in the Premiership. They’re the top try scorers in both competitions so we’re under no illusions as to the task ahead.
                            “It’s a while away yet but great to know who we have and we can start planning. It’s a challenge that we very much look forward to and I know the Leinster supporters will respond in kind to make it a brilliant occasion at the Aviva.”

                            Connacht’s 50-14 win over Oyannax sealed a home quarter-final against Gloucester in the European Challenge Cup, but as third seeds as they were unable to secure a top two seeding. Hence, if Connacht beat Gloucester, they will be away to the winners of the Newcastle-Brive quarter-final in the semi-finals.

                            Connacht owe Gloucester one, to put it mildly. Three seasons ago Gloucester beat them 14-7 at the same stage at Kingsholm, and again at the same venue in an ensuing Champions Cup qualifying play-off tie by 40-32. Connacht were leading 25-18 in the final minutes of the game when a hugely controversial penalty decision from Romain Poite gave Gloucester a try-scoring opportunity and sent the match to extra time.
                            Last edited by Cowboy; 22nd-January-2018, 12:19.
                            I am the million man.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              We need to play more rugby though. Kicking the ball is fine in a wet Thomond but Sarries shoved it up out holes last year when we tried that shyte.

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