Monday 14 October 2019

The 'miracle match' showed the fight in the team and how much victory meant

My Munster: Conor O'Brien

Munster supporter Conor O'Brien with wife Orla, their twin boys Alex and Frank (3) and daughter Kate (1)
Munster supporter Conor O'Brien with wife Orla, their twin boys Alex and Frank (3) and daughter Kate (1) Sportdesk

1. What was your first Munster Rugby match? My first ever Munster match was in the Sportsground in Galway on December 27, 2004. Ronan O'Gara scored the winning penalty in a 3-0 win over Connacht. I will never forget the weather, it was so bad there was driving rain and wind.

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

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The 'miracle match' against Gloucester when they won by 27 points and four tries to progress from the pool. That was played in Thomond Park and it was an unbelievable performance. It showed the fight in the team and how much the victory meant to everyone.

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

Keith Earls. I just enjoy watching him in play. He has electric pace and is a great finisher. He is playing in his third World Cup and is a Munster man through and through.

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

Peter Stringer's try in the Heineken Cup final. Stringer collected the ball from the base of the scrum and had the try scored before any of the Biarritz players knew what was happening. Everyone went mad celebrating, it was an unbelievable feeling.

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

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If I had to sign one player I would choose Kieran Read from Crusaders. He has been one of the best players in the world for the last ten years. A great captain for the All Blacks and his club, too.

6. Earliest rugby memory?

I can still remember when Jonah Lomu ran over England full-back Mike Catt. He gathered a bouncing ball outside the 22 and stepped around an England defender before bull-dozing over top of Catt and scoring. It was savage power. A super star was born.

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

My season ticket arrived in the post a couple of weeks ago, and I can't wait for the matches. My seat is in the East Stand, the upper tier on the halfway line in Thomond Park. It's a great place to watch a game.

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

Jim Williams. He was the first overseas player I remember playing. Such a great player and a gentleman off the field, and he even stayed on to join the management team.

9. What is your favourite away ground?

Murrayfield. I have been there for a few Six Nations games and I love the atmosphere around Edinburgh city.

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

Rory Best. He is an unbelievable player and is still playing at the highest level for club and country. Playing in one of the hardest positions on the pitch. That's a fair achievement.

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

My favourite is the Toyota jersey. It reminds me the Heineken Cup final.

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

I follow Galway hurling and I have been to a few Arsenal soccer matches.

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

I would love to have been at the Munster versus All Blacks match in 1978.

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

My wish would be that the team get their attack up to the same high level as the defence and I hope the new coaching staff will make a big improvement in the overall performance.

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

The Claw (Peter Clohessy), Keith Wood and Mick Galwey. The stories they would have about the games they played in and the craic they had as a team off the field would be great.

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