Wednesday 20 March 2019

There's no one hiding under the bed and Foley doesn't need to call in the carpenter

It’s not Anthony Foley’s fault that Munster were missing key men against Saracens
It’s not Anthony Foley’s fault that Munster were missing key men against Saracens
Billy Keane

Billy Keane

There was the harrowing story of the Leinster fan who couldn't sleep at night because he was sure there was someone under his bed. His wife would get up and declare under the bed to be intruder-free. Then 10 minutes would pass from the all-clear and her husband would wake her with: "There's a man under the bed."

The wife spent a restless night every night. "It was worse," she said, "than if I was married to a snorer with the exhaust of a Massey Ferguson fitted in to his air pipes and out his mouth like an overflow pipe."

Demented and exhausted, she would make the husband disembark from the bed as she shone a torch underneath.

She even fitted infra-red CCTV cameras under the bed like the ones Sir David Attenborough uses for spying on man-eating tigers but her husband refused to believe his own eyes.

A psychiatrist couldn't cure him and there seemed to be no solution to the problem of the man under the bed who wasn't under the bed.

Then one day the wife brought in the carpenter and he cut the legs off the bed. The man who thought the man was under his bed was immediately cured. And there was an unexpected bonus.


The happy couple didn't even so much as suffer a scratch when they fell out of the sack in the middle of a game of nude hide and go seek. Sometimes the solutions to problems are far easier than you would ever think possible.

Some have more problems than most. And on the basis of never kicking a team when they are down, unless it's cage fighting, we will not get stuck into Munster.

We will get stuck in to those who are giving out about our coach Anthony Foley who was blameless. Munster were missing key players for the Saracens game.

Even the All Blacks struggled to find a fourth-choice out-half to play in a World Cup final and had to send out scouts to bring a man home from a place so renowned for fishing the fish used to lick the fisherman's fingers like puppies.

The bare result last weekend was bad and Munster have played better. Conor Murray is the best in the world right now. He was a huge loss. Even Paul had an off day.

Roman Poite went handy on Munster near the end when we looked like shipping an even heavier defeat but, early on, he missed out on a vital yellow card when Chris Ashton tackled Felix Jones in the air.

There's a certain amount of disquiet in the Munster camp over the refereeing of the scrums. The hit has been outlawed in rugby. The hit is when one team pushes before the ball is put in but Sarries broke every law and were only penalised twice in the game.

The illegal tactics are being used by a good few English teams. Leinster had better watch out. Remember the Harlequins scrum gave Leinster a tough time and last week the Wasps' scrum destroyed the Harlequins' scrum.

Tomorrow Munster play Sale and, while the points mean little, I hope Munster get a good crowd. It wasn't as if they went out to lose deliberately. Munster were in a difficult group and there is hope.

You could buy in all sorts of players but, as any botanist will tell you, such species overcome the local and indigenous plants.

You could ruin the Munster ethos forever by trying to buy success. Munster's values are based on blending in a special type of player and by nurturing home-grown talent.

The first solution is to get all our players out of the injury ward and on to the field and you don't need to hire a carpenter to figure that one out.

The good news from the camp is the mighty Donnacha Ryan is near enough to being fit. It's all about qualifying for Europe now.

Leinster have managed their problems well. Their new coach Matt O' Connor has found his feet but Wasps are improving all the time. Wasps swarmed to Coventry this season having been moved from London for financial reasons. The reality now in grandee rugby is that teams are no more, geography too. We're talking her about franchises just like Mc Donald's.

Munster were playing in Coventry one time and we stayed in a hotel with a takeaway under the bed. Coventry was booked out by the thousands of travelling Munster fans and we ended up in a hotel that had lost more stars than Liverpool.


I was looking for a lost sock when I came across the takeaway which was in a serious state of decomposition and was home to a battalion of luminous bugs.

There are hidden micro-universes in takeaways under beds. So a note of caution to the travelling Leinster fans: always look under the bed if you're staying in a strange hotel.

Leinster will not hide. Here's hoping Leinster can produce that open rugby that has cracked so many defences over the years.

Lose the scrums and you lose the game. Tightheads carry the brunt and Leinster have two excellent scrummagers in Marty Moore and Mike Ross. Hopefully, the ref will get it right. By the way, Leinster have the same ref, M Garcia, who did the Harlequins game when their scrum creaked.

There was a terribly insulting expression about those who only pretended to fight during our struggle for independence but still ended up with medals and pensions. The derogatory remark went along the lines of "don't mind your man, sure he was under the bed during The Troubles". Anthony Foley never hid and he was never, ever under the bed in times of trouble.

And if you're in Coventry this weekend, take a look under the cot. I never did find that lost sock.

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