Sunday 17 November 2019

'On big match days, I'm delighted to just be inside the ground itself'

My Munster: Cedric Laffan

Munster supporter Cederic Laffan will look forward to CJ Stander’s (p) return to provincial action. Photo: Sportsfile
Munster supporter Cederic Laffan will look forward to CJ Stander’s (p) return to provincial action. Photo: Sportsfile

1. What was your first Munster Rugby match?

I don't know the year but I remember a pre-season game in the old Thomond Park where Bath gave Munster a clipping. One Bath supporter had a deep bellowing voice and every time there was a lull he shouted: "Come on Baaaaaath". The crowd got fed up and someone decided to shout back: "Come on Munster," which received a round of applause. From that moment I realised Munster was for me.

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2. What Munster game sticks out in your memory and why?

It has to be that first Heineken Cup final victory against Biarritz.

3. What current Munster player do you looking forward to watching?

CJ Stander comes across as great team member. When he plays well, Munster do. Hopefully Fineen Wycherley gets more exposure. There appears to be a good crop of young guys coming through.

4. Describe the most memorable Munster score you've seen?

Stringer's try in the 2006 Heineken Cup final and also John Kelly's try at the end of the 'Miracle Match', the backline move setting up a maul off first phase, with about 20 people in it.

5. You're given a blank cheque to sign any player in the world. Who would it be?

Beauden Barrett, the best player on the planet.

6. Earliest rugby memory?

Apart from watching it on TV, it would probably be playing and training with Bruff on a Sunday morning in Kilballyowen. I still go up and watch the seniors play and hopefully they gain promotion this season.

7. Where do you sit or stand in Thomond Park?

On big match days, I'm delighted to just be inside the ground itself. But I prefer to be in the east terrace.

8. Which overseas player that represented the province is or was your favourite?

Jim Williams, John Langford, Trevor Halstead and Rua Tipoki to name but a few, but Doug Howlett. He came to Munster at the peak of his powers and scored some incredible tries.

9. What is your favourite away ground?

I've been lucky to have been at a few, but one trip in particular was to the Twickenham Stoop for a quarter-final against Conor O'Shea's high-flying Harlequins.

10. What player from another Irish province do you admire?

Johnny Sexton, he came on the scene when O'Gara was there and fought for the position. Munster have Joey Carbery now so hopefully he can take a leaf out of Sexton's book.

11. What is your favourite Munster jersey and what does it remind you of?

It's great to see so many differing Munster jerseys on match day. I have one myself, from around 2008, and it has been on many away trips.

12. What team in any other sport other than Munster Rugby do you follow?

I'm a big follower of Limerick hurling, as well as local GAA teams and Bruff RFC.

13. What game in Munster's history would you love to go back to and attend?

Cardiff in 2006. I wasn't old enough to make that trip but I would love to have been there.

14. You have one wish for Munster this season. What is it?

Be competitive across both competitions. In the Champions Cup we have a difficult group, at a minimum we need to win all home games and get something on the road.

15. Invite three Munster players past or present to dinner. Who would you bring?

Keith Wood: I've been to a few events where he has spoken and always has a good few stories to tell. Ronan O'Gara: hard not to include the highest points scorer of all time. Doug Howlett: great to hear from someone who decided to come to Munster at a point when he could have gone to any club Europe.

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