Wednesday 21 March 2018

Munster put on a fine show for Rog, Rua and Rushida

Barry Duggan

OUT-HALF Ronan O'Gara missed the game through injury but still managed to bring extra support -- his son Rua -- to cheer Munster to victory in the Heineken Cup.

An early afternoon kick-off proved to be the only major hurdle of the day for the fans, as Munster ran out convincing 33-0 winners over Edinburgh at Thomond Park.

Fans were introduced to other sporting heroes at half time when members of the Irish Paralympian squad were given a standing ovation.

Also introduced was Olympic gold medalist, David Rushida -- who won the 800m title in a world record time in London -- as well as his mentor, Brother Colm O'Connell.

From Doneraile in Cork, Brother O'Connell (63) works as a missionary in Kenya where he has coached some of the world's top athletes. He said after years of supporting Munster from Kenya, he was thrilled to have finally made his way to Thomond Park.

To his delight, he was made an honorary lifetime member of the Munster supporters' club yesterday.

"I'm proud to be a Munster man and have supported Munster for many, many years. It is great to be here today," he said.

"I have seen Munster play on television many times in far-off Kenya, but to be here and see it live -- it is a fantastic experience."

David Rushida was making his first trip to Ireland and said he was extremely grateful for the reception afforded to him by the Munster supporters.

Many fans were unhappy with the 12.45pm kick off, but TV viewing dictates starting times for games these days.

John Harrington had travelled from Cork for the match and said the view of supporters should be taken into account.

"It is all about TV these days -- they say when a game is scheduled for," he said.

"For anyone driving to the game, they have to be on the road very early but fair play to everyone who travelled. They got a great result," Mr Harrington said.

David Kelly and George Hook's verdicts: Sport

Irish Independent

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