Croke Park May 2nd 2009: 10 years on.

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blockhead
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Croke Park May 2nd 2009: 10 years on.

Post by blockhead »

Next thursday the 2nd of May is the 10th anniversary of the famous Croke Park Heino semi-final between Munster and Leinster.
It was and still is the most pivitol game in the history of Irish club rugby. Everything changed utterly. It changed the face of European rugby also as it ushered in the Leinster years (Part I). It wiped out the phenomenon known as the"Lunster". It was, at the time, a world record attendance for a club rugby game.
Leinster have never looked back and Munster have never recovered.

BTW if anyone has a copy of the game would they mind sharing it, I'd love to add it to my collection.
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Re: Croke Park May 2nd 2009: 10 years on.

Post by Icarus »

That was when Niall Kiely write his infamous Irish Times article that ‘awoke a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve’.

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Re: Croke Park May 2nd 2009: 10 years on.

Post by wixfjord »

Haha I had forgotten about that, just re-read Niall's piece this morning and this line stands out...

'Importing instant-fix, High Veldt muscle isn’t going to provide either a medium or long-term solution – given a pack that still doesn’t get the difference between “want” and “need” to win'

Oh how times have changed :lol:

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Re: Croke Park May 2nd 2009: 10 years on.

Post by Cianostays »

I'll be in Croke Park for the Anniversary. Mainly because I work there but still. I was in the Hill and I'm not sure I've ever been in as much happiness at a game then seeing BO'D run under the posts. Magic Day.

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Re: Croke Park May 2nd 2009: 10 years on.

Post by Icarus »

The full article:
https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/even-s ... 5?mode=amp
I believe it was pinned up in the Leinster dressing room.

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Re: Croke Park May 2nd 2009: 10 years on.

Post by Dave Cahill »

Icarus wrote:The full article:
https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/even-s ... 5?mode=amp
I believe it was pinned up in the Leinster dressing room.
A supporter from each side was asked to pen an article - that was the Munster Supporter's, the below was written by a Leinster Supporter

'WE LEARNED TO GRIND OUT VICTORIES' - IRISHTIMES
Saturday, May 2, 2009

ALISON MOORE says odds-on favourites Munster are beatable and that Leinster have the game-breakers to emerge victorious if Brian O’Driscoll and his team-mates deliver on their potential

SO HERE we are, facing into another Munster versus Leinster Heineken Cup semi-final in Dublin and all the associated hoo-ha it entails. Matches between these sides always bring that extra little something, you might call it banter, you might call it bite, but it is certainly not “just a game”.

The last outing, known in Leinster quarters as Black Sunday, has been used as a stick to beat the team and its supporters with many times since then, and it still hurts. It was closer than the scoreline suggested – which due to therapy I find myself happily unable to recall – but certainly we were roundly beaten.

You know what they say though: that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and in that respect I suppose the Leinster supporters should be grateful to their Munster counterparts. That sea of red in Lansdowne Road in April 2006 was in some ways responsible for awakening the more laid back element of the Leinster support and galvanising what was an already growing support base.

In brief, it made us wise up.

No more, “after you, sir” with our ticket allocation for a start. We’ve taken a leaf out of the Munster supporter’s handbook (imitation and flattery and all that don’t you know) and developed a bit of our own cute hoorism to ensure that as many Leinster supporters get to see their team on the big occasion. You might not like it, but we are standing up for ourselves and marking our territory.

In 2005/6 Leinster’s season ticket holders numbered under 3,000; today there are 10,000 of us. Last year Leinster was the best-supported team in the Magners League and the fourth-best-supported team in Europe in all competitions after Stade Toulousain, Stade Francais and Leicester Tigers.

Away from the RDS, more and more men, women and children are taking to the road in blue to support their team. Not just to the high-profile matches in the south of France, mind, but also to the somewhat less glamorous destinations in deepest, darkest Wales.

Our supporters are true blues. Ignore the oft-repeated and frankly ignorant stereotyping; both the team and its supporters are representative of the province as a whole. We might not have a stage play in our repertoire but we certainly have passion. Leinster supporters have come through bad times and grown in number regardless. Success in Europe will be all the sweeter.

Anyone who witnessed the unrelenting display of Leinster support in the Twickenham Stoop against Harlequins on Easter Sunday by the 2,500 or so who travelled will know the Blue corner is going to come out swinging today. It’s a given that the Munster supporters will have plenty to say about it, so you can safely predict that the noise level in Croker will be something to rival the nosiest of Kerry-Dublin clashes.

So, while Leinster supporters are certainly primed for the off-pitch battle, what of the match itself? Despite some noises coming from Munster attempting to indicate otherwise, there can be no doubt the defending champions are the red-hot favourites. Sure haven’t they barely lost a match all year? Didn’t they just humiliate the Ospreys, a team full of Welsh internationals, in the quarter-final? Haven’t they the largest representation of any single team in the Lions squad, including the captain? Yes, yes, yes and yes again. The much-loved underdog billing is no more.

In 2006, Leinster had just come off that magnificent, “total rugby” win in Toulouse and were supposedly riding high. Munster, meanwhile, had achieved a more pedestrian home victory against Perpignan. While their history in the tournament gave them the edge, they still had the underdog, grafter tag they thrived under while Leinster were the soft-up-front, inconsistent flash Harrys.

These days, Leinster have developed some steel. They have learned how to grind out victories but only intermittently get their talented backline in full flow. Munster in 2009 are an all-conquering, two-time European Cup-winning side with some incisive backs, including Doug Howlett, the record-holding All Black try scorer if you don’t mind. Not quite role reversal, but there is a different complexion on today’s match than in 2006.

Quite reasonably, all expectation is for a Munster victory. Liam Toland, a columnist in this paper, last week on Setanta asserted that Munster could expect to take on any international side and win, such was their devastating form. No pressure there then.

The challenge for Leinster, seemingly unshackled by expectation, whatever about desire, is to make like David and slay Goliath.

The team has developed more edge and guile since Black Sunday and must couple this with their undoubted talent and make it count. Having played each other six times since that fateful day, the head-to-head stands at three-all, so Leinster have it in them to win today.

Rest assured that neither the team nor the supporters will be there to simply make up the numbers. Munster are good, sure, but Leinster aren’t scared of them. We have the game-breakers to take them today, and if Messrs O’Driscoll (God protect him!), Elsom, Heaslip, Fitzgerald et al have anything to say about it they will.

Given the “no chance mate” ascribed to Leinster’s prospects by all but the bluest Blues, perhaps this will be our miracle match and the stuff of legend to come. Blue Saturday anyone?

Redemption awaits. Keep the faith.

Alison Moore is a medical journalist from Dublin and committee member of the Official Leinster Supporters Club

This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times
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leinsterfan100
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Re: Croke Park May 2nd 2009: 10 years on.

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Oldschoolsocks
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Re: Croke Park May 2nd 2009: 10 years on.

Post by Oldschoolsocks »

leinsterfan100 wrote:10 years on.....

https://m.independent.ie/sport/rugby/mu ... 53524.html
Wtf man, is every unread post going to have a link to That c**t in Brazil???

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Re: Croke Park May 2nd 2009: 10 years on.

Post by Laighin Break »

Cianostays wrote:I'll be in Croke Park for the Anniversary. Mainly because I work there but still. I was in the Hill and I'm not sure I've ever been in as much happiness at a game then seeing BO'D run under the posts. Magic Day.

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Felt they should have renamed O'Connell Street to O'Driscoll Street after that!

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Re: Croke Park May 2nd 2009: 10 years on.

Post by Apixikin »

2009 match in Croke Park was the first ever rugby match I attended.
In my country rugby is not played professionally and I had never been to a match, never seen one on TV either.
My brother in law had an extra ticket, I think ticketmaster, or whoever was selling them made a mistake and he was able to buy lots of them.
One of his friends bailed out in the last minute and my husband , who was going too, emotionally blackmailed me into going.
Anyway, here we go. We met in Grafton street and walked all the way.
There was a sea of red all around us. It was quite intimidating.
Needless to say, I didn’t know the rules, I still struggle with them now.
All I can say is that I really enjoyed it.
I saw the arrogance of some of the Munster fans going in to Croke Park, and I don’t know about you, but I hate arrogant show off people.
To this day I remember seeing more blue than red coming out of the stadium, they had put on their coats and we took ours off to show our Leinster colours with pride.
Now days, I go to all the Leinster home matches and a few away semis.
I missed the first final, but I have been in the other three.
The final in Cardiff was brilliant but last year in my hometown, the party before and after will be hard to beat!
So that’s my story, it all started in Croke Park for me.

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Dexter
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Re: Croke Park May 2nd 2009: 10 years on.

Post by Dexter »

Apixikin wrote:2009 match in Croke Park was the first ever rugby match I attended.
In my country rugby is not played professionally and I had never been to a match, never seen one on TV either.
My brother in law had an extra ticket, I think ticketmaster, or whoever was selling them made a mistake and he was able to buy lots of them.
One of his friends bailed out in the last minute and my husband , who was going too, emotionally blackmailed me into going.
Anyway, here we go. We met in Grafton street and walked all the way.
There was a sea of red all around us. It was quite intimidating.
Needless to say, I didn’t know the rules, I still struggle with them now.
All I can say is that I really enjoyed it.
I saw the arrogance of some of the Munster fans going in to Croke Park, and I don’t know about you, but I hate arrogant show off people.
To this day I remember seeing more blue than red coming out of the stadium, they had put on their coats and we took ours off to show our Leinster colours with pride.
Now days, I go to all the Leinster home matches and a few away semis.
I missed the first final, but I have been in the other three.
The final in Cardiff was brilliant but last year in my hometown, the party before and after will be hard to beat!
So that’s my story, it all started in Croke Park for me.
Great story, thanks for sharing. :happy clapper:
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Twist
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Re: Croke Park May 2nd 2009: 10 years on.

Post by Twist »

Apixikin wrote:2009 match in Croke Park was the first ever rugby match I attended.
In my country rugby is not played professionally and I had never been to a match, never seen one on TV either.
My brother in law had an extra ticket, I think ticketmaster, or whoever was selling them made a mistake and he was able to buy lots of them.
One of his friends bailed out in the last minute and my husband , who was going too, emotionally blackmailed me into going.
Anyway, here we go. We met in Grafton street and walked all the way.
There was a sea of red all around us. It was quite intimidating.
Needless to say, I didn’t know the rules, I still struggle with them now.
All I can say is that I really enjoyed it.
I saw the arrogance of some of the Munster fans going in to Croke Park, and I don’t know about you, but I hate arrogant show off people.
To this day I remember seeing more blue than red coming out of the stadium, they had put on their coats and we took ours off to show our Leinster colours with pride.
Now days, I go to all the Leinster home matches and a few away semis.
I missed the first final, but I have been in the other three.
The final in Cardiff was brilliant but last year in my hometown, the party before and after will be hard to beat!
So that’s my story, it all started in Croke Park for me.
That's a brilliant story, you appear to be Leinster's lucky charm!


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Twist
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Re: Croke Park May 2nd 2009: 10 years on.

Post by Twist »

I went with a friend who was quite sick and would pass away a few weeks later. It was the last big thing we went to together so has a special place in my memory

I wore a Leinster GAA provincial jersey, which seemed appropriate for the day. Obviously it was lost on some people; a magnanimous Leinster fan straight out of a Ross O'Carrol-Kelly book, like, commiserated with me after? I didn't have the heart to tell him. I wonder if he's crossed the Liffey since that day?

That article though. F*ckin’ hell. I’ll show it to my kids as an example of how not to be!


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Re: Croke Park May 2nd 2009: 10 years on.

Post by Hippo »

Apixikin wrote:2009 match in Croke Park was the first ever rugby match I attended.
In my country rugby is not played professionally and I had never been to a match, never seen one on TV either.
My brother in law had an extra ticket, I think ticketmaster, or whoever was selling them made a mistake and he was able to buy lots of them.
One of his friends bailed out in the last minute and my husband , who was going too, emotionally blackmailed me into going.
Anyway, here we go. We met in Grafton street and walked all the way.
There was a sea of red all around us. It was quite intimidating.
Needless to say, I didn’t know the rules, I still struggle with them now.
All I can say is that I really enjoyed it.
I saw the arrogance of some of the Munster fans going in to Croke Park, and I don’t know about you, but I hate arrogant show off people.
To this day I remember seeing more blue than red coming out of the stadium, they had put on their coats and we took ours off to show our Leinster colours with pride.
Now days, I go to all the Leinster home matches and a few away semis.
I missed the first final, but I have been in the other three.
The final in Cardiff was brilliant but last year in my hometown, the party before and after will be hard to beat!
So that’s my story, it all started in Croke Park for me.

And what a start to have! I was on the Hill and having suffered 2006 in Lansdowne this was the greatest day, unforgettable.
AKA Peter O'Sullivan

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blockhead
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Re: Croke Park May 2nd 2009: 10 years on.

Post by blockhead »

Apixikin wrote:2009 match in Croke Park was the first ever rugby match I attended.
In my country rugby is not played professionally and I had never been to a match, never seen one on TV either.
My brother in law had an extra ticket, I think ticketmaster, or whoever was selling them made a mistake and he was able to buy lots of them.
One of his friends bailed out in the last minute and my husband , who was going too, emotionally blackmailed me into going.
Anyway, here we go. We met in Grafton street and walked all the way.
There was a sea of red all around us. It was quite intimidating.
Needless to say, I didn’t know the rules, I still struggle with them now.
All I can say is that I really enjoyed it.
I saw the arrogance of some of the Munster fans going in to Croke Park, and I don’t know about you, but I hate arrogant show off people.
To this day I remember seeing more blue than red coming out of the stadium, they had put on their coats and we took ours off to show our Leinster colours with pride.
Now days, I go to all the Leinster home matches and a few away semis.
I missed the first final, but I have been in the other three.
The final in Cardiff was brilliant but last year in my hometown, the party before and after will be hard to beat!
So that’s my story, it all started in Croke Park for me.
And what a great place to start Apixikin.
And don't worry about the rules, nobody really knows them all.
Last edited by blockhead on April 28th, 2019, 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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And gambling's for fools,
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blockhead
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Re: Croke Park May 2nd 2009: 10 years on.

Post by blockhead »

Twist wrote:I went with a friend who was quite sick and would pass away a few weeks later. It was the last big thing we went to together so has a special place in my memory

I wore a Leinster GAA provincial jersey, which seemed appropriate for the day. Obviously it was lost on some people; a magnanimous Leinster fan straight out of a Ross O'Carrol-Kelly book, like, commiserated with me after? I didn't have the heart to tell him. I wonder if he's crossed the Liffey since that day?

That article though. F*ckin’ hell. I’ll show it to my kids as an example of how not to be!


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Good story Twist.
You know I'm going to lose,
And gambling's for fools,
But that's the way I like it baby, I don't want to live FOREVER!

leinster23
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Re: Croke Park May 2nd 2009: 10 years on.

Post by leinster23 »

blockhead wrote:
Apixikin wrote:2009 match in Croke Park was the first ever rugby match I attended.
In my country rugby is not played professionally and I had never been to a match, never seen one on TV either.
My brother in law had an extra ticket, I think ticketmaster, or whoever was selling them made a mistake and he was able to buy lots of them.
One of his friends bailed out in the last minute and my husband , who was going too, emotionally blackmailed me into going.
Anyway, here we go. We met in Grafton street and walked all the way.
There was a sea of red all around us. It was quite intimidating.
Needless to say, I didn’t know the rules, I still struggle with them now.
All I can say is that I really enjoyed it.
I saw the arrogance of some of the Munster fans going in to Croke Park, and I don’t know about you, but I hate arrogant show off people.
To this day I remember seeing more blue than red coming out of the stadium, they had put on their coats and we took ours off to show our Leinster colours with pride.
Now days, I go to all the Leinster home matches and a few away semis.
I missed the first final, but I have been in the other three.
The final in Cardiff was brilliant but last year in my hometown, the party before and after will be hard to beat!
So that’s my story, it all started in Croke Park for me.
And what a great place to start Apixikin.
And don't worry about the rules, nobody really knows them all.
Definitely not the refs anyway.

The sad thing is that this is only half a joke.

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Re: Croke Park May 2nd 2009: 10 years on.

Post by suisse »

And we would never have had that day had Nick Evans slotted his drop goal. Those 3 weeks were career defining and much more. Had Quins won and then the cheating was exposed, the ERC probably would have just imposed a massive fine and that's it. Everyone would have said they did Leinster a favour by knocking us out because it meant we wouldn't meet the Munster machine in front of 84,000 and got our asses handed to us. In the 2 league games that season, Leinster lost 0-18 at home and 22-5 in Limerick. 5 points in 160 minutes of rugby. Munster would have beaten Quins and then Leicester in the final. I was in the Hill and was hoping, praying, we wouldn't be embarrasses. I was hoping we'd score a couple of tries and even if we lost by about 10 points, it would be okay. I feared we'd get smashed by 30. It was the worst pre-game experience of my life.

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Re: Croke Park May 2nd 2009: 10 years on.

Post by ronk »

suisse wrote:And we would never have had that day had Nick Evans slotted his drop goal. Those 3 weeks were career defining and much more. Had Quins won and then the cheating was exposed, the ERC probably would have just imposed a massive fine and that's it. Everyone would have said they did Leinster a favour by knocking us out because it meant we wouldn't meet the Munster machine in front of 84,000 and got our asses handed to us. In the 2 league games that season, Leinster lost 0-18 at home and 22-5 in Limerick. 5 points in 160 minutes of rugby. Munster would have beaten Quins and then Leicester in the final. I was in the Hill and was hoping, praying, we wouldn't be embarrasses. I was hoping we'd score a couple of tries and even if we lost by about 10 points, it would be okay. I feared we'd get smashed by 30. It was the worst pre-game experience of my life.
I felt good. Munster were too perfect and overhyped. My only worry was that we'd be exhausted after Quins.

I was in the Stoop in the Quins section and was devastated that they sold tickets for semi straightaway and we had no way to buy tickets.

Managed to get them but it was a struggle

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Re: Croke Park May 2nd 2009: 10 years on.

Post by olaf the fat »

In the week before the game Shane Jennings took the Croke Park tour - during which he was asked did he manage to get a ticket for the game
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