The Aviva stadium was like almost totally blue. It was amazing. Blue clad girls screamed for Jonny Sexton and co. while I like waved my red flag to let the goys know I was there too, in enemy territory. OMG I was like right there! In the front row seats, near the corner where Earlsy and Casey should have scored, would have scored if the referee had gone upstairs. It was totally a try! Whatever…we’ll get them back in Thomond in April.
The referee was hopeless. His knowledge of the rules, his eyesight, his impartiality were all called into question! Pause, touch, set, the scrum collapses. He raises his arm, to the right or to the left… one way is greeted with acclaim, the other with disdain. It’s a thankless task but someone has to do it. Handbags break out, he issues a warning. Another ruck, his arm goes out to indicate advantage. The Leinster signs read “In BOD we trust” and that is rewarded as BOD scores in the corner. Then the ref reaches into his pocket and the crowd hold their breath. He pulls out a card. A yellow one. Somebody done somebody wrong! He points to Varley, just 2 minutes on the pitch and gives him his marching orders. Ten minutes in the sinbin to reflect on his actions. The home crowd cheer and some jeer.
Two weeks later, Munster returned to the promised land of Thomond to take on Edinburgh. A famine of scoring opportunities in the first half, a performance littered with sins, left the score at 6 – 0. The faithful were anxious. They felt abandoned and some were disillusioned with the new Messiah from down under. In olden times there was always hope of a miracle, it was a specialty. To the brave and faithful nothing is impossible may be the motto but did we feel brave, were we losing the faith? The first try came after 50 minutes, the ball was grounded for the 2nd at 70. Butler and Keatley parted the black sea of defenders and Dougal followed up to score the third, but did we have time for the all important bonus point? “C’mon Munster” urged the faithful as hope bubbled up…
First secure possession. The scrum was awarded. Crouch, touch, set..whistle.
The referee raised his left arm, penalty to Munster.
Pass the ball to Keatley.
Kick for touch on the 5m line.
Confer and agree the move with the forwards.
Varley lines up his throw. The noise levels have risen, the place is heaving as everyone struggles to get a good view.
Possession is secured by Ryan.
The forwards gather around him to protect the ball.
“Heave” roar the crowd and they heaved making progress towards the line.
Varley breaks away and grounds the ball. TRRRYYYYYYYY
The crowd go wild.
On reflection, did the final ten minutes excitement paper over the cracks shown in the previous 70? Did the team revert to the traditional forwards dominated style to earn the win or is it all part of the master plan? Whichever is the case, it was a very youthful Munster team which secured the bonus point and experienced a miracle match of their own complete with the Thomond park experience to add to the collective DNA of the Munster team. Days like this will build them into a force to be reckoned with in the coming seasons. And the faithful will be there to witness their journey and enjoy going along for the ride.
Five days later. It was a dark, freezing night. Halloween was in the air, complete with fancy dress and face paint. Late kick-off on a Friday of a bank holiday weekend resulted in a half empty terrace. Another miserable first half – 3 all at the break – did nothing to warm the crowd. A new kid on the block lit up the second half. JJ scored 2 tries, Felix and Luke got one each to again secure the bonus point. The journey continues.
This was written for a writing class where each paragraph was to be in the following styles: teenage for the first paragraph, then country & western, biblical, DIY manual, philosophical and finally film noir.