Wednesday 17 January 2018

Deccie king of jungle

Picture the scene -- 25 or 30 of Munster rugby's biggest, strongest, toughest sportsmen are jam-packed into a room at Thomond Park.

We're in the middle of our build-up for the 1999 Heineken Cup away game against Saracens. Deccie has called us all in for a chat ahead of the game and no one quite knows what to expect -- either we're going to get a pep-talk or we're going to get a bollicking. Most likely the latter.

The room is quiet when Deccie wheels in a TV monitor and video machine. The lads look at each other. What the hell is going on? Are we going over tapes of the opposition?

"I want you to watch this lads," says Deccie. "Just watch."

So, for the next couple of hours, the entire Munster squad, a team supposedly in search of their first Heineken Cup trophy and ravenous for another big-name scalp, sit back in their seats and watch fluffy little bundles of golden fur romp across the screen as we view 'The Lion King'.

Tempting though it might have been to make a joke or say something smart, no one utters a word -- this is a Deccie Kidney production, so everyone is concentrating hard on exactly what kind of message Simba, Timon and Pumba are delivering.

In the end, he called it exactly right showing us the movie, because we beat Saracens on their home ground in a tough encounter.

I think they'd have been mortified if they'd known that Munster's secret weapon had been 'The Lion King'.

Irish Independent

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