Ahead of Munster’s first ever clash with the South African Springboks, Limerick Voice reflects on Munster’s defining moments with rugby’s international giants
By Matthew Wilson
With the eagerly anticipated clash between our own Munster and the formidable South Africa getting ever closer, we’re going to take a look at what makes these meetings unmissable for many.
This is a match that may go down as historic for various reasons. This crop of players have the opportunity to be the first Munster side to topple the Springboks. As well as this, the clash is taking place at the home of Cork GAA, Pairc Ui Chaoimh.
This is memorable as the GAA have a strict policy of non-GAA events taking place on their premises and tend to only allow these events on special occasions. Despite this, when the proposal was put to the meeting of the Ard Chomhairle at Croke Park it was passed unanimously.
The contest between these two sides takes place at Pairc Ui Chaoimh next Thursday night and there was a huge demand for tickets for the test match. A sell-out crowd of 45,000 will be in attendance with tickets for the meeting selling out in less than two days. With this in mind, the question must be asked what makes being at this clash so sought after.
Munster Rugby appear to have a special connection and a rich history with these contests with Southern Hemisphere nations. Meetings with Australia in 1992 and 2010 as well as Maori All Blacks in 2016 to name a few.
Although this association is likely because of their famous victory over the All Blacks at Thomond Park in 1978, 44 years ago. This was a memorable day for all in Ireland as Munster became the first Irish side to defeat the All Blacks in a 12-0 victory. It is an event that has its place in Irish folklore and is still talked about regularly.
New Zealanders describe this loss as their “most shocking defeat” and provided many Munster ultras with an “I was there” moment. This could definitely be a reason for the large attendance next week, as witnessing history does not come around too often and Munster have a habit of humbling champions.
With a very lengthy injury list, as well as 14 members of the first team squad committed to Ireland’s efforts in the Autumn Internationals Series, Munster will undoubtedly head into this meeting as underdogs once again. However if history has taught us anything, even against the Goliath’s of the sport, Munster are never to be written off.