Now for someone of my ilk, who doesn’t drink a pint, you might say that Thursday to Tuesday in Cardiff at the Heineken Cup Final between Beautiful beautiful Munster and the French artisans Toulouse would be torture, I’m not going to lie to you, it was, but torture of the sweetest kind.
That town welcomes us with open arms, it changes the names of the pubs for us, it opens apartments, clubs, pubs, streets, closes main streets to allow the Munster throng to walk as they like, it does all it can to facilitate what must be the most fabulous battalions of supporters the world is ever likely to see.
We danced, we sang, we screamed, we roared, we cried and we hugged Kilfeacle lads, Muskerry lads, Nenagh lads, the usual “Auld Enemies” from the north, south, east and west, from Leinster, Ulster, Wales, Connacht, London, Leicester, Scottish Borders, Wasps but for this one solitary weekend we all had only one thing on our mind, Munster, Glorious, Glorious Munster (To paraphrase Ryall Nugent).
I’m not going to try and emulate the many, many brilliant pieces that have been writen over the last few days, it would a pointless waste of time and it wouldn’t do them all justice. Arriving into Birmingham Airport (I know, don’t ask) last night we were cheered at times by ordinary everyday folk going about their business but seeing the jerseys “On Tour”. The word has spread.
We spent Two hours in the Munster tent with guys who had put body and soul into the previous hour and a half of trench warfare and they still, still couldn’t believe what had just taken place less than 200 metres from where they stood. Rua Tipoki and Dougie Howlett turned to me after posing for a photo and Rua said said, “It was ye, your voice is gone, we weren’t running on the pitch, we were walking about three feet off the ground, You all did it, we just were the twenty-two on the grass”. Ad further homage from a man who is carrying the record for the highest tries scored in the Super League, His parting shot as he turned around to sign another tee shirt and stand for another photo was ” The All-black or NPC supporters were never like this”
Anyway onto the photos….. The ones I took at least. I’ll have a link up to Johnny Hogans and Bocks stuff later on today.
Be warned!! there’s a load of photos here 🙂 If you’re not on Broadband it will kill your computer…..