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Reds' faithful hearts beat in love,not envy

Winning the Amlin Cup is like capturing the Europa League in soccer or getting an invite to the afters of the Royal Wedding. The next best thing. The Amlin semi-final will bring 50,000 to Limerick for today's party. The city is truly thankful. Munster games are the catalyst for a big après-match party.

I am told the Munster players were very much aware of this when they played Brive in that thrilling quarter-final in France. But it's not the Heineken Cup, is it? Two hours up the road there's another game going on in another place. We must not be jealous.

He drove the 5.9 Deluxe Special with hallmarked silver exhaust to all the big Munster games. His motor went from 0-60 faster than the man who finds the wife in bed with the plumber. And still no sign of the fecker fixing the shower.

You know the driver is a gom, but you are still jealous. You read books that take you to far-off shores. He goes on a €20K cruise and has his dinner every evening with the captain. You studied hard. He stuck in a quote from Lady Macbeth in the summer test. "Mrs Mac jumped off the castle -- 'aaaaghh'."

But how did he make so much? Now we know the truth. He went into the bank and was refused 800 bills for a 56-inch TV. Didn't ask enough. Tried another bank. "How much do you want?" asked the manager. "Tee hee," laughed he.

"Gimme €32m for a mall in a bog, 327 non-cat-swinging flats, 19 Vegan Bagel outlets with doors what opens without getting pushed, a crèche with its own McDonalds and one of those frying pans that don't stick for herself.


"Cheque or cash?" "Cash. Have you a spare wheelbarrow by any chance?" Now the poor hoor is driving one in Clapham.

But Leinster are for real, and their success is deserved and hard-earned. Ah, but why did it have to be Toulouse in their semi? You would have to be jealous of anyone hosting them.

Toulouse -- the most glamorous team in Europe. The only aristocrats who chop off heads. Their backs, gliders with fighter engines. Forwards who bisect pan loafs for just the one sandwich but are still arty enough to play Rachmaninoff on the cello, if only they had enough room between their thighs for the big fiddle.

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We should never have taunted Leinster with all that Ladyboy s***e. I warned us.

In Kerry, we always tell our victims they were unlucky. Like the python telling the rabbit she was a lovely squeeze. Now we are out and they are in, but the back-door might well be our salvation. The hurt, too, will show today.

Munster are now in a position where they can risk inexperienced players in big games.

Our newest No 9 Conor Murray is a real find. O'Gara engages only the best of scrum-half partners. The late, and appropriately named, Roger Vadim was married to Jane Fonda. This ROG also bedded Brigitte Bardot and lived with Catherine Deneuve, but not at the same time. That's the crux. There's only room for one scrum-half on every team. We have at least three.

Harlequins will be a big test. This might well be a Super 15, all-action, top of the ground match with only a passing resemblance to a Heineken Cup dogfight. Quins like to have a go. So do we. Expect soft-touch regulation and loads of tries. Munster need to play with a type of sensible madness.

Yesterday, the women of Ireland went mad and it made no sense to me. Absenteeism soared. So did the sales of fizzy pink wine, fluffy slippers, chocolate tiaras and papers with 68-page celebratory pull-outs. Our dinner was in the chipper. This anarchic, monarchic carry-on came as great shock to those of us who thought we were living in a republic.

Our uncrowned king Moss Keane will be remembered at a big golf day in Portarlington and The Heritage on Thursday next. All proceeds go to cancer care. There are still a few team places left. There's even a dinner-dance that night. The band will surely play the Currow Polka at the six-months' mind. We will savour Thursday, and today, too.

We hereby send Leinster a good luck telegram. Begrudgers miss the roses outside their own window.

There will be no envy as we walk the new Limerick riverside of nautical glass towers, the panoramic hotels like ships' funnels, and most of all Thomond Park, the sail-boat stade.

We are so devastated by the crash we miss the good left to us by The Tiger. Lasting architectural projects invariably break the promoters, but the legacy of their vision remains long after the debts are written off.

Tomorrow is another May Day but there is hope for Munster.

Today is a sunny spring day at summer's gate. Happy small boys and girls wrapped in XL red flags march through the last days of the Easter holidays.

Their hearts, ours too, will beat faster when they catch the first sight of the elegant lines of a Thomond Park packed with the faithful who will never depart.

Mrs Lidl's finest toasters pop up sliced bread like roasted props. One was dispatched to Windsor and the other to Lansdowne. We will respond in the affirmative to the Munster RSVP.

Love is where you love to be.

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