On Saturday December 10th, the MRSC London Branch ran its first ever coach day trip for the away Heineken Cup game with Llanelli. London Chairman Jay Briganti was assisted by Gerard Butler in organising the day.
Demand was so high for the trip, a larger bus was sourced to enable more fans travel only a week prior to departure. Numbers actually going on the bus fluctuated right up until the last minute, with a few excused absences on the day, and two non-excused, which resulted in slight delays prior to leaving. The first pick-up point was the home of the London Branch, Mustard bar, in the shadows of St Pauls. The second pick-up point was West London (Hammersmith), and finally Reading. Those on board were treated to some classic Heineken Cup Munster matches en route, including the Gloucester 2008 away quarter final win, where miracle match memories were a large part of the build-up, and the last Heineken Cup meeting between the sides in Wales from that same season, where it got a little wet!
Thankfully the weather wasn’t quite as bad this time, thou the rain did return before the end of the game! Once at the ground, our bus helped hand out some of the matchday flags and before we knew it, it was game on. The signs welcomed us to real Welsh rugby country, but it was still sad to see a pretty empty East Stand looking back at us. An awful start by Munster was thankfully turned around by the end of the 80 minutes, which made the long trip back to London all the more enjoyable. We re-grouped in the Scarlets Supports Village, gave “the Fields” a lash with the live band, and before we knew it, were on the road back to London.
On the trip home we enjoyed some further Munster magic, including the build up and match itself of the 2006 final. We also had some rugby music from the “Together We Stand” cd, which was put together to raise funds for the late Stuart Mangan. Stuart could have been like one of many of us in the London branch, Munster born and bred, over here in London working, and out playing rugby on a Saturday afternoon. If you don’t know his story, or never got to see it, the BBC made documentary on his life post injury and its tragic conclusion, which is up on you tube.
The songs from the Stuart’s CD, mixed with a few beverages consumed over the day, led to the last part of the trip turning into an old school rugby tour sing song. We were lucky enough to have David Rofe and Michelle Darcy from the MRSC choir on board, to keep the wording accurate, thou they couldn’t help with the other “slightly” off key singers we had on board!
Photo’s from the day can be found by clicking here
Thanks to all who helped out to make it such a wonderful success.
MRSC London Branch.
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