23 May, 12:21
The Irish Rugby Supporters Club is delighted to announce that tickets for the GUINNESS Series 2013 will go on sale on ticketmaster.ie at 10am on Thursday, May 30.
Of the two games at the weekend, the defeat that caused the biggest shock was Leinster's 21-14 reversal in Lansdowne Road against Perpignan. It was an outcome that few - outside of Perpignan - envisaged and left players and supporters in stunned silence afterwards.
Contrast the scenes in the immediate aftermath of both games and perhaps it becomes apparent how much the competition and Irish rugby owes to Munster. Outside Le Stadium Toulouse on Saturday, thousands of Munster supporters waited behind the security barriers to cheer the Munster players when they slowly emerged to begin the long journey home. And those same supporters had remained in the stadium after the final whistle as Jim Williams led his forlorn squad around the perimeter to say thanks for that marvellous support.
Most of the Munster supporters were at the northern end of the stadium but at the other end, the Tououse faithful had gathered and there they stayed patiently until the Munster players came towards them. Then they stood, and clapped and chanted, 'Munster, Munster, Munster'. it was a touching and heart-warming gesture.
In Lansdowne Road, people began making their way home before the final whistle sounded and long before a dejected Leinster side side left the field the stadium was almost empty. Any player looking to the stands for consolation would have been deeply dis-enchanted.
If there was sympathy aplenty for the Munster boys, there was a palpable feeling of anger towards their Leinster counterparts. Having already enjoyed the advantage of playing in Lansdowne Road in the quarters, it had already been scripted that their third game at the venue would be the final. The Leinster public who had answered the call and flocked to Lansdowne Road for both games turned their backs on this side with unseemly haste. The Leinster team and management deserved better.
But then, there's the difference between the two sets of supporters. Watching the scenes in Lansdowne Road, the term 'fair weather supporter' springs to mind whereas Munster enjoy the very best support, something referred to by Noves when he said. "I am delighted that rugby is supported by the people of Munster like it was today. It is truly amazing that the nation of Munster travelled in such numbers."