Sunday 22 October 2017

Peter Bills: Deposed Kings face difficult period in exile

Peter Bills

All over Ireland last night, dynasties seemed to be disintegrating. Brian Cowen may have delayed his inevitable departure but Fianna Fail's dynasty continued to crumble. And in faraway Toulon, Munster's great rugby dynasty headed down the same road towards ruin.

What made this horror show even worse from Munster's point of view was that it represented an 80-minute long suicide note. Munster's crass indiscipline compounded a dire day, one which ended not with the whiff of sea breezes by the Mediterranean but the unmistakeable aroma of a decaying empire.

To hand as metronomic a goal kicker as Jonny Wilkinson so many chances from penalties, was something that will keep coach Tony McGahan awake at night for months. The English out-half managed eight successful kicks, six penalties and two conversions, from his 10 attempts.

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