Monday 24 July 2017

Watch: All Blacks pay tribute to Foley in re-run of 'Miracle Match'

Maori All Blacks captain Ash Dixon presents a jersey in honour of the late Munster head coach Anthony Foley to his sons Dan and Tony. Photo: Sportsfile
Maori All Blacks captain Ash Dixon presents a jersey in honour of the late Munster head coach Anthony Foley to his sons Dan and Tony. Photo: Sportsfile

David Raleigh

Irish rugby icon Anthony 'Axel' Foley was remembered in a stunning tribute by the Maori All Blacks team ahead of their revenge match against Munster at Thomond Park last night.

Before the New Zealand Warriors unleashed their haka war dance, they laid an All Blacks jersey on the halfway line of the hallowed Thomond turf as a mark of respect to the Munster father-of-two.

Mr Foley's sons Tony (11) and Dan (8) were then presented with the black jersey with their father's initials on the back by the Kiwi rugby soldiers.

Earlier, more than 60 Munster rugby clubs formed a guard of honour along the West Stand sideline in front of a sea of 26,000 roaring red fans.




Mr Foley's sudden death at the Munster team hotel in Paris last month continued to cast a huge outpouring of grief among both sets of supporters as battle clouds descended overhead at the Limerick rugby colosseum.

Last night Munster repeated 2008's 'miracle match'.

The New Zealand Maori All Blacks perform ‘The Haka’ ahead of the match between Munster and the New Zealand Maori All Blacks at Thomond Park. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
The New Zealand Maori All Blacks perform ‘The Haka’ ahead of the match between Munster and the New Zealand Maori All Blacks at Thomond Park. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Munster took control in the second-half to secure a 27-14 win.

The All Blacks have a chequered history at Thomond Park.

They came here in 1978 and swiftly returned to New Zealand with their white feathers between their legs.

That historic day still replays in the minds of every Munster fan who watched their local heroes slay the Goliath of world rugby.

And, memories of the 2008 miracle match also stirred up the home town fans as they reminisced over Munster stars Rua Tipoki, Doug Howlett, Lifeimi Mafi and Jeremy Manning lighting up the Thomond cauldron during their remarkable home-town haka in front of their fellow Kiwis.

Fans gathered in high spirits early on at The Strand Hotel where the Maori team had based themselves for the previous five days.

The party following Ireland's historic victory over the All Blacks last week in Chicago continued unabated.

Shane Ring, from Co Cork, was in no doubt home fans would be celebrating a second Kiwi defeat.

"It's going to be very special, and follow on from last week's victory," he said.

"It's always competitive at Thomond Park, even if there is no prize. Our boys are wearing the Munster shirt and they will beat them."

"I'm hoping for a good show. It's my first trip to Thomond Park. I'm looking forward to the Munster roar," said Derry native Phil Doherty.

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