VIDEO: Beautiful Silence And Respectful Roars On An Emotional Day In Thomond Park

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Avid Munster fan, Mike O’Halloran, describes his feelings after an emotional day in Thomond Park where Munster honoured Anthony Foley’s memory…

IS it wrong to describe the atmosphere in Thomond Park yesterday as beautiful?

On the way to the game I had expected the atmosphere to be sombre, and I suppose to a certain extent it was. It was like the old packed house days, with the terraces filled, with still an hour to go before kick off.

I had spoken to Alan Gaffney prior to the game, he had flown over from Australia for Anthony Foley’s funeral, he knew Axel well having coached him in 2002 when he was Munster head coach. Some respect for the number 8.

Continued below…

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The mood was sombre inside the ground until The Munster Supporters Club Choir rose the throng with their leading of ‘There Is An Isle’ with the masses responding with their lines. Then came the cries of ‘Munster! Munster!’. The old days are back.

Then the announcement; “welcome the Munster team led by their captain Peter O’Mahony” and for a split second I thought the announcer had made a mistake and should have said Anthony Foley, so filled was the air with Anthony’s name.

Continued below video of Stand Up And Fight yesterday in Thomond Park…

The period of silence was just, well, silence. Beautiful silence in a huddle of 25,000 grieving souls.

Will all this emotion work against the performance of the team? Axel would say we have a job to do go do it, and they did.

The pack, his pack, the pack he coached, finally got it right and led the way. The old Thomond Park roar had replaced the silence and that roar was just as respectful. From once Jerome Garces produced the red card, Glasgow were going to be beaten.

For the next hour I hardly thought of Axel, then the heartbreaking moment when his two boys joined the team in the middle of the pitch to sing ‘Stand Up And Fight’. Yes it was a beautiful day in Thomond.

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