{The Red Army} Occupy Stephens Street (D2)


At Break for the Border (BFTB) a larger than usual gathering of the Dublin branch of the Supporters club, swelled by an influx to the capital for the All Blacks game ensured a good atmosphere with plenty of banter.  Due to a malfunction with the big screen the Red Army was in the front section of BFTB rather than their usual reserved area towards the rear.  I wonder what unsuspecting people who walked into the pub made of all the red jerseys and noise for a league game being watched in the centre of Dublin.  The referee got as much heckling as if we were there on the terrace and there was plenty to cheer and clap for, in addition to groans when attacks broke down, support did not get there in time or the teams resorted to aimless kicking.  We were also entertained by the informative comments relayed by Jim from his mother’s texts. T’was like she was there with us 🙂
Rob, one of my twitter buddies who had travelled down to the game sent his pitch-side perspective via Twitter.  Peter, another Twitter friend of the blog who was also there has promised to leave a comment with his perspective.  All comments welcome.

Cardiff in November, training disrupted by the Autumn Internationals, missing the leadership of Peter and Paul along with other experienced players through injury, this was a challenge for Munster albeit the bookies favourite by a 5 point margin.  Cardiff were also missing many players to the Wales team but made the better start.  For the first 15 minutes Munster hardly got their hands on the ball other than to give away penalties, fortunately out of Humberstone’s range, although Sheridan kicked and chased a good ball through and Dougall thought he had scored only to be called back.  Cardiff converted a penalty on 13 minutes but then Munster found their mojo as Jones ran a great line off Laulala to score a try.

Jones got on the end of 2 offload from Laulala to score 1 try himself and make one for Conway

Jones got on the end of 2 offload from Laulala to score 1 try himself and make one for Conway. Photo from Daryl’s collection at http://www.flickr.com/photos/dfeehely/

Ten minutes later a super maul led to Varley’s pick and go to score the 2nd.  My pick of the tries is the third one scored by Cronin but made by Sheridan who blocked the kick and gathers the ball as you can see in this clip:

Jones ran another good line off Casey resulting in the bonus point try for Conway on 44 minutes.  Adrenaline must be great as Conway managed to accelerate brilliantly then and when chasing kick-offs, despite limping badly from early in the game.  It was great to see him score his first competitive try for Munster before being replaced by Hurley on 55 minutes.  JJ Hanrahan had a good night, kicking all 4 conversions and a penalty.  He is leading the League’s Golden Boot Award table for the season to date.

Poor discipline prevented Munster scoring again in the second half as first Stander and then Sherry were sent to the bin.  Munster did well to concede just 7 points in the second half, during the first of the sinbinnings when the Cardiff hooker Dacey was the first to find a way through the Munster defence in the league since the loss to Treviso in September. (We won’t mention the Heineken Cup!)

Highlights included some good breaks by Stander, Kilcoyne, Hurley and Sheridan, putting the pressure on Cardiff through effective mauling, blockdowns, winning a scrum against the head and defence and the aforementioned running effective lines off Laulala.  Congrats to the new J Holland who made his League debut even if he was only involved in tackling for the last few minutes of the game.  Here’s hoping Johnny has a good a career – as Jason did – for Munster.  To leave with a bonus point win was a great result, albeit at times the game blew hot and cold, keeping Munster top of the table and gaining momentum leading into the key games in December against Perpignan.  Munster will keep their focus on Dragons, who will have a bounce in their step after beating Glasgow away from home in this round.  Full match highlights are available here:

Munster: Felix Jones; Andrew Conway, Casey Laulala, Ivan Dineen, Johne Murphy; JJ Hanrahan, Cathal Sheridan; James Cronin, Damien Varley, BJ Botha; Dave Foley, Billy Holland; Dave O’Callaghan, Sean Dougall, CJ Stander. Replacements: Mike Sherry, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Donncha O’Callaghan, James Coughlan, Duncan Williams, Johnny Holland, Denis Hurley.


3 comments on “{The Red Army} Occupy Stephens Street (D2)

  1. A great blog again, Cardiff is always a difficult game and with the new pitch it was a good test for a mix and match Munster team . I thought CJ had a good solid game and could force a H/cup starting place our back line always looked more dangerous than the Blues and JJ is a great prospect give him a few more years and I think Munster will have real a contender for ROG’S crown. Delighted to get the win at one of my home games but we will have to step for our visit to Newport Gwent Dragons . Gutted for Ireland yesterday but the All Blacks are the masters of how to win lost games.

  2. Pretty much sums the evening up. What was interesting was the psychological effect playing on the 4G seem to have. A clear crisp evening means that the ball should be reasonably dry but after walking on the pitch afterwards (a great idea btw) you could feel the slipperiness that kind of field gives. In the warm up so many balls were being dropped it was hardly a surprise when the knock on’s started. However that and the indiscipline were the only low points. After we settled there was no stopping us and if you think there was anger in the BFTB that was nothing to some of the comments made by the Cardiff crowd! I was a little confused by #beatKeith prediction having Cardiff as winners, thankfully for the majority of the crowd he was wrong.

    On reflection Sheridan was outstanding but my M O M goes to JJ, an easy pick maybe but he was solid all night and the kick from the touchline was perfectly measured. I’m still struggling with how Casey got the award, a fairly torrid 1st half was met with cheers by his old fan base.

    Onward and upwards, I justified this trip by having a work meeting in the afternoon how can I get to Newport this week……?

    • Interesting to hear from Rob that there were way more travelling fans as usual. The announcer made the mistake of shouting over the mic “who’s supporting Cardiff….” Followed by….Who’s supporting Munster, it was a clear win for us! Well done to the Red Army!

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