Prior to the game, members gathered downstairs in Thomond Park and enjoyed sandwiches, snacks, and more importantly a few drinks and good craic!. From my own perspective it was great to put faces to the names that I have been talking to on the phone, e-mailing and the name labels that accompany those all important tickets!
Among the first supporters to arrive at 12.30 were those who had travelled the furthest namely the Murrays from Leamington Spa in the UK. There are three Murray brothers (Steve, Chris and Tony) in the Munster Rugby Supporters Club and they have faithfully followed Munster through thick and thin over the last number of years. I also met the Fyfe family (John, Barbara and John Jnr) from Lisnagry in Limerick. John Jnr could barely contain himself when he won one of the prizes in our raffle for two tickets to the post-match reception with the players and team management after the Munster v Viadana Heineken Cup game in Musgrave Park on December 6th next. The Aherns from Cork with Bill Jones, Eddie O'Connor and Co. were also well represented and Mr. Ahern kindly informed me that his lovely wife Ronnie is actually female and not male as I had originally interpreted the name Ronnie! Hello also to Sean Willis in Limerick who unfortunately broke his arm on the way to the Munster v Connacht U-21 game on October 5th last ..and duly went to the match with the broken arm and only went to the hospital after the final whistle blew! With people like that, the future support base of Munster Rugby must be surely safe!
All in all it was a great warm-up session prior to the match, which was topped off by a great result for Munster as well. The feedback has been very positive and we aim to run a similar pre-match get together in Musgrave Park prior to the Munster v Viadana Home game on December 6th next.
A special note of thanks to the following Munster Rugby Supporters Club committee members who assisted with the raffle and the pre-match preparations on the day itself:
Declan O'Connell, Chairman; Vincent McMahon; Mortimer Stack; Des Clancy; John Donnelly; Barry Hill; Con Walsh; Walter Doheny
Supporters Club Raffle Prize Winners on October 19th
1. Signed Munster Rugby Jersey - Mortimer Stack, Askeaton, Co. Limerick 2. Two passes to Munster v Viadana post-match reception with players and management - Chris Murray, Leamington Spa, UK 3. Two passes to Munster v Viadana post-match reception with players and management - John Fyfe Junior, Lisnagry, Limerick 4. Two passes to Munster v Viadana post-match reception with players and management - Ann Marie O'Meara, Fermoy, Co Cork 5. Two passes to Munster v Viadana post-match reception with players and management - Vincent McMahon, Clareview, Limerick 6. Two passes to Munster v Viadana post-match reception with players and management - Neil O'Sullivan, South Circular Road, Limerick 7. Heineken Fleece Jacket - Maeve Wallace, Monkstown, Cork 8. Heineken Fleece Jacket - Mortimer Stack, Askeaton, Co Limerick 9. Heineken Fleece Jacket - Martin Ryan, Mallow, Co Cork 10. Heineken Fleece Jacket - John Wallace, Monkstown, Cork