Pictured at the civic reception in City Hall Merchants Quay were, members of the Munster 1978 Team that beat the All Blacks with, Pat Daly, Deputy Chief Executive Limerick City and County Council, Mayor of Limerick City and County Cllr. James Collins and Michael Keane, Vice President Munster Branch IRFU. Picture: Zoe Conway/ilovelimerick
Iconic Munster 1978 team reunited at Civic Reception
By I Love Limerick Correspondent Jordan Mac Cormaic
The iconic victory of the Munster 1978 team over the New Zealand All Blacks has been heralded as the ‘watershed moment in the history of Limerick sport’, at a civic reception to mark the 40th anniversary of the legendary game.
The famous 12-0 victory that the Munster side secured that day is one of the most historic moments in the history of Munster Rugby. Stories from the game have an almost mythical nature to them as tales of Munster’s triumph get passed on from generation to generation.
The 1978 All Blacks side were one of the greatest teams in the history of New Zealand Rugby. They were the first ever New Zealand squad to win a grand slam and had a style of play years ahead of their time led by the innovative coach Graham Mourie.
The Munster 1978 team knew that their hard-nosed defence would be the key to mounting a challenge against a team of such quality and athleticism. Munster famously won the game after having less than 40 per cent possession throughout. Seamus Dennison’s huge first half tackle on Stu Wilson set the tone early as Munster looked to drive fear into the hearts of the All Blacks.
Munster took the lead after Christy Cantillon scored a huge try with Tony Ward converting. Ward’s drop goals in each half brought the final score to 12-0 and marked October 31, 1978 as one of the greatest days in the history of Irish Rugby.
All Blacks winger Stu Wilson said after the game “We were lucky to get nil”. He also likened the crowd of 12,000 at Thomond Park that day to a crowd of 100,000 people.
Mayor of Limerick City and County Council, James Collins, acknowledged the lasting impact of the sporting achievement in Limerick’s history as he welcomed the Munster 1978 heroes to the celebration at Istabraq Hall yesterday afternoon.
It had been ten years since the Munster 1978 team had reunited, having last gathered in Limerick for the opening of the new Thomond Park, which coincided with the 30th anniversary of the historic match.
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Pictures: Zoe Conway/ilovelimerick