There was tough competition for the man of the match during the weekend’s Heineken Cup quarter final, when Munster beat back old rivals the Harlequins. Although the game didn’t see any tries scored, we were all treated to classic, get-stuck-in rugby.
Munster secured a win against the London team with a final score of 18-12. While it was Ronan O’Gara who landed 6 penalties, the might Lions charged into battle under the leadership of a returning Paul O’Connell. And since he first stepped onto the pitch this past Sunday all eyes have been on O’Connell. His effect on the team has been undeniable, with a powerful display of leadership that reminds us of Patrick Sarsfield.
‘He has this empathetic outlook on life – he sees things through other people’s eyes, and he has this understanding that makes everyone feel good to be around him. You couple that with his rugby ability and he is just a really complete man’
He even won praise from the rival Harlequin’s rugby director Conor O’Shea:
‘He was majestic. The whole team was physical but he was the totem that the whole team just rose around. He is arguably one of the greatest second rows, if not the greatest second row, that Ireland has ever produced’
Munster will now head into their 10th semi-final against Clermont Auvergne in Montpellier.