Munster and Thomond Park

Thomond Park Stadium and Munster Rugby have a special bond that is known throughout rugby circles worldwide. Since Munster first took to the pitch and beat Leinster in Thomond Park in 1938, the link between ground and club has been a major factor in the success and history of Munster Rugby. Both Thomond Park and Munster have become synonymous with each other, and it is hard to mention one without thinking of the other.

Munster are always notoriously difficult to beat when playing International touring sides. Thomond Park saw the most famous of these matches in 1978, when Munster defeated New Zealand 12-0. This was closely followed by beating Australia 15-6 in a wet and windy Thomond Park in 2010. In addition to the two famous victories, Munster have also managed two draws against touring opposition. In 1958, Munster managed a 3-3 draw with Australia, while in 1973 a 12-12 draw was the result with Argentina. There has also been some outstanding and heroic performances in defeat at Thomond Park, with none as memorable as the official opening of the re-developed Stadium in 2008. Munster played New Zealand in a classic encounter, which New Zealand won 18-16 with a late try. In 1963, Munster also ran New Zealand extremely close losing 6-3.

Munster v International Sides in Thomond Park:

  • 1951: South Africa L, 6-11
  • 1958: Australia D, 3-3
  • 1963: New Zealand L, 3-6
  • 1970: South Africa L, 9-25
  • 1973: Argentina D, 12-12
  • 1974: New Zealand L, 4-14
  • 1978: New Zealand W, 12-0
  • 1984: Australia L, 19-31
  • 1996: Australia L, 19-55
  • 1998: Morocco W, 49-17
  • 2008: New Zealand L, 16-18
  • 2010: Australia W, 15-6

Before the professional era began, Interprovincial matches, Club rugby and School cups took centre stage in the Stadium. The Interprovincial matches that took place against Irish rivals Leinster, Ulster and Connacht were always hard fought tough encounters. While, the Munster Senior Cup and later the All Ireland League matches were always played in front of massive crowds. They are also widely acknowledged by players past and present of developing Munster’s cup mentality. The schools cup was the budding ground of many of Munster’s provincial players.

Since the professional era began, Munster’s record in Thomond Park has been fantastic, both in Magners League and especially Heineken Cup competitions. Munster have recorded important wins in Thomond Park to secure 2 Magners League titles since it began in 2001. In the 2009/2010 season Munster confirmed the title by beating the Ospreys in May 2009 and lifted the trophy in Thomond Park in the first season of its new design. However, it is Munster’s Heineken Cup record that really stands out. Since playing their first home match in the competition in 1995 against Swansea, Munster went on an incredible 26 match home unbeaten run. That run was ended in January 2007, when Leicester Tigers won 13-6 in the last match in the old stadium. Since then Munster have been beaten only once at home in the Heineken Cup, when Ulster won 22-16 here in the 2012 Heineken Cup Quarter Final.