Sunday 4 December 2016

WATCH: 'We played for Olive and the kids' - Peter O'Mahony hopes Munster display did Axel proud

Published 22/10/2016 | 16:07

Munster's Simon Zebo, left, sheds a tear as he stands alongside captain Peter O'Mahony during a minute's silence in memory of the late Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick.
Munster's Simon Zebo, left, sheds a tear as he stands alongside captain Peter O'Mahony during a minute's silence in memory of the late Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick.

Fourteen-man Munster honoured their late captain and head coach Anthony Foley with a barnstorming 38-17 bonus-point Champions Cup win over Glasgow at Thomond Park.

  • Go To

Despite Keith Earls' red card for a tip tackle midway through a frenzied first half, Munster were 24-3 clear by the interval after tries from European debutants Tyler Bleyendaal and Jaco Taute along with a fortuitous effort from Simon Zebo.

Munster's dominance up front yielded a penalty try, early in the second period, and although Pat MacArthur and Mark Bennett both touched down in the final quarter, a closing seven-pointer from Rory Scannell was a fitting end to a highly emotional day in Limerick.

A sell-out 26,500 crowd watched Munster open their European campaign in tearful circumstances, just a day after Foley was laid to rest in his home town of Killaloe, County Clare.

22 October 2016; The Munster team during a minute's silence in memory of the late Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. The Shannon club man, with whom he won 5 All Ireland League titles, played 202 times for Munster and was capped for Ireland 62 times, died suddenly in Paris on November 16, 2016 at the age of 42. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; The Munster team during a minute's silence in memory of the late Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. The Shannon club man, with whom he won 5 All Ireland League titles, played 202 times for Munster and was capped for Ireland 62 times, died suddenly in Paris on November 16, 2016 at the age of 42. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; The Munster team during a minute's silence in memory of the late Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. The Shannon club man, with whom he won 5 All Ireland League titles, played 202 times for Munster and was capped for Ireland 62 times, died suddenly in Paris on November 16, 2016 at the age of 42. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; CJ Stander of Munster, who wore number 24 instead of the usual number 8 jersey retired on the day in memory of the late Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley, takes a moment before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. The Shannon club man, with whom he won 5 All Ireland League titles, played 202 times for Munster and was capped for Ireland 62 times, died suddenly in Paris on November 16, 2016 at the age of 42. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; Munster and Glasgow Warriors players observe a minutes silence in memory of the late Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. The Shannon club man, with whom he won 5 All Ireland League titles, played 202 times for Munster and was capped for Ireland 62 times, died suddenly in Paris on November 16, 2016 at the age of 42. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Munster scrum coach Jerry Flannery, centre, flanked by players Peter McCabe, left, and man of the match Tyler Bleyendaal as they sing 'Stand Up And Fight' on the pitch after the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
CJ Stander, left, and Jaco Taute of Munster congratulate each other following their team's victory during the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Jaco Taute of Munster reacts at the final whistle following the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
CJ Stander of Munster wearing shirt number 24, after number 8 was retired for the match as a tribute to former Munster head coach Anthony Foley, makes his way off the field following the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; Munster's Simon Zebo sheds a tear during a minute's silence in memory of the late Munster Rugby head coach Antho ny Foley before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. The Shannon club man, with whom he won 5 All Ireland League titles, played 202 times for Munster and was capped for Ireland 62 times, died suddenly in Paris on November 16, 2016 at the age of 42. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; Former Munster and Ireland player Paul O'Connell, left centre, with his son Paddy ahead the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; Munster's Simon Zebo, left, sheds a tear as he stands alongside captain Peter O'Mahony during a minute's silence in memory of the late Munster Rugby head coach Antho ny Foley before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. The Shannon club man, with whom he won 5 All Ireland League titles, played 202 times for Munster and was capped for Ireland 62 times, died suddenly in Paris on November 16, 2016 at the age of 42. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; Munster players Conor Murray, left, Simon Zebo, centre, and captain Peter O'Mahony of Munster observe a minute's silence in memory of Munster head coach Anthony Foley before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, centre, ahead of the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; Munster supporters wave their flags ahead of the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; Munster supporters wave their flags ahead of the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; Munster Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus ahead of the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend ahead of the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; Munster team manager Niall O'Donovan, left, and Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus in conversation before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; A view of the match programme before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; Munster Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus ahead of the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; A supporter adds a Munster Rugby jersey to the tribute, outside the Shannon RFC Club house, in memory of the late Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. The Shannon club man, with whom he won 5 All Ireland League titles, played 202 times for Munster and was capped for Ireland 62 times, died suddenly in Paris on November 16, 2016 at the age of 42. European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; A supporter reads his the match programme before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; Supporters queue to sign a 'Condolence book' in memory of the late Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. The Shannon club man, with whom he won 5 All Ireland League titles, played 202 times for Munster and was capped for Ireland 62 times, died suddenly in Paris on November 16, 2016 at the age of 42. Photo Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; Supporters queue to sign a 'Condolence book' in memory of the late Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. The Shannon club man, with whom he won 5 All Ireland League titles, played 202 times for Munster and was capped for Ireland 62 times, died suddenly in Paris on November 16, 2016 at the age of 42. Photo Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; A supporter photographs the Munster Rugby, Leinster Rugby and Connacht Rugby flags, scarves and flowers placed outside the Shannon RFC Club house in memory of the late Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. The Shannon club man, with whom he won 5 All Ireland League titles, played 202 times for Munster and was capped for Ireland 62 times, died suddenly in Paris on November 16, 2016 at the age of 42. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; A general view of Munster Rugby, Leinster Rugby and Connacht Rugby flags, scarves and flowers placed outside the Shannon RFC Club house in memory of the late Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. The Shannon club man, with whom he won 5 All Ireland League titles, played 202 times for Munster and was capped for Ireland 62 times, died suddenly in Paris on November 16, 2016 at the age of 42. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; Munster supporters read messages on flags, scarves and flowers placed outside the Shannon RFC Club house in memory of the late Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. The Shannon club man, with whom he won 5 All Ireland League titles, played 202 times for Munster and was capped for Ireland 62 times, who died suddenly in Paris on November 16, 2016 at the age of 42. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; A floral tribute from all the 'Glasgow Warriors Family' placed in memory of the late Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. The Shannon club man, with whom he won 5 All Ireland League titles, played 202 times for Munster and was capped for Ireland 62 times, died suddenly in Paris on November 16, 2016 at the age of 42.. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; A detailed view of a Munster pennant ahead of the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; A general view of flags, scarves and flowers placed outside the Shannon RFC Club house in memory of the late Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. The Shannon club man, with whom he won 5 All Ireland League titles, played 202 times for Munster and was capped for Ireland 62 times, died suddenly in Paris on November 16, 2016 at the age of 42. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; A general view of Munster Rugby, Clermont Rugby and Connacht Rugby flags, scarves and flowers placed outside the Shannon RFC Club house in memory of the late Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. The Shannon club man, with whom he won 5 All Ireland League titles, played 202 times for Munster and was capped for Ireland 62 times, died suddenly in Paris on November 16, 2016 at the age of 42. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; A tribute in memory of the late Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. The Shannon club man, with whom he won 5 All Ireland League titles, played 202 times for Munster and was capped for Ireland 62 times, died suddenly in Paris on November 16, 2016 at the age of 42. European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; A detailed view of a portrait of former Munster head coach Anthony Foley ahead of the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; A general view of Munster Rugby, Leinster Rugby and Connacht Rugby flags, scarves and flowers placed outside the Shannon RFC Club house in memory of the late Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. The Shannon club man, with whom he won 5 All Ireland League titles, played 202 times for Munster and was capped for Ireland 62 times, died suddenly in Paris on November 16, 2016 at the age of 42. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; A general view of Munster Rugby, Leinster Rugby and Connacht Rugby flags, scarves and flowers placed outside the Shannon RFC Club house in memory of the late Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. The Shannon club man, with whom he won 5 All Ireland League titles, played 202 times for Munster and was capped for Ireland 62 times, died suddenly in Paris on November 16, 2016 at the age of 42. Photo Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
22 October 2016; A general view of Munster Rugby, Leinster Rugby and Connacht Rugby flags, scarves and flowers placed outside the Shannon RFC Club house in memory of the late Munster Rugby head coach Anthony Foley before the European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 1 Round 2 match between Munster and Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park in Limerick. The Shannon club man, with whom he won 5 All Ireland League titles, played 202 times for Munster and was capped for Ireland 62 times, died suddenly in Paris on November 16, 2016 at the age of 42. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

The 42-year-old's sudden death at the team hotel in Paris last Sunday forced the postponement of Munster's round-one clash with Racing 92, and the subsequent days saw the rugby community, at home and abroad, unite in support of the Irish province and most importantly, Foley's wife Olive and their children Tony and Dan.

The outpouring of grief continued at Thomond, where special tributes were paid before the lunchtime kick-off, including renditions of 'There is an Isle' and 'Stand Up and Fight' - the rousing songs of Foley's beloved Shannon RFC and Munster - an impeccably observed minute's silence and the West Stand supporters holding up cards to poignantly display his nickname 'Axel' and shirt number, '8'.

After the game, skipper Peter O'Mahony spoke about how the players were determined to make Foley proud and play for his grieving family.

"We showed up and they showed up for a massive occasion," O'Mahony told Sky Sports.

"We came out here to play like Axel would have wanted us to play and we played for Olive and the kids and all their family.

"And God I we hope we did him proud today."

Watch below:

Online Editors

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport