Bock has, inevitably, put up a cracking post already on the Munster vs. All Blacks match last night. As someone who's lived in Leinster the last 16 years, with a Roscommon grandfather and a Belfast mother, I can pretty much claim allegiance to whatever province I feel like. But as a born Corkonian, who once uttered such gibberish as "He's some langer, like" without a trace of irony, it's always been with Munster that my heart has lain. (Fuck me, that was a cumbersome sentence.)
As anyone who saw the match can attest, Munster came bloody close to emulating the team of 30 years ago. And that would have been great because, let's face it, our constant harping on about a rugby match thirty years ago doesn't really speak volumes for our sporting pedigree as a nation. Munster's crowd lifted them to a scintillating display in the first half, and one of grim determination in the second - epitomising the word 'dogged'. Granted, if the All Blacks' out-half Stephen Donald hadn't been performing such a convincing impression of David Blunkett breaking in a new pair of ballet shoes then the margin might have been somewhat greater than the eventual 18-16 to the All Blacks, but this still takes nothing away from the herculean efforts of the Munster men, many of whom were pretty much dead on their feet by the end of the game. Rugby seems to be one of those sports where the concept of a 'glorious defeat' is still alive and well.
I'll finish with a video of munster's Kiwi contingent performing their own haka before the all Blacks did theirs, a couple of minutes that simultaneously summed up their patriotic pride and their passion for their adopted province. Spine-tingling.