Remember the 2006 Sale game in Limerick? The English club had beaten Munster 27-13 the previous October so a statement was needed
No better man to break than Sebastien Chabal. With 11 minutes gone, Sale had just levelled it up at 3-3 so Ronan O'Gara dropped the restart down the French monster's throat. Paul O'Connell landed first with Donncha O'Callaghan whipping around the other side to hold Chabal up. In came Anthony Foley. Then John Hayes and Marcus Horan. They drove him back until they all collapsed near the Sale try line.
An iconic moment to sit with the rest of them. Having ripped the heart out of Sale, Munster won 31-9. Five months later Foley was lifting their first European silverware in Cardiff.
"It's a long way to the final," said Conor Murray this week. Munster visit Sale again tomorrow evening with the Leinster pounding a fortnight old.
“We’re starting off with a new coaching staff and a new gameplan, the players have huge belief that we can execute that quite well. And we’re starting to. Against Leinster was the time when we really dominated the breakdown and really looked good.
“ We could get up for the big games in the last two years and then in other games we were too inconsistent in putting away what we would regard as weaker sides. We’re looking for that consistency this year.”
O’Connell is still around, but O’Callaghan can’t get in the team and Foley is now coach. “Paul is still there barking away and letting his feelings known which is great. It’s exactly what we want from him and he drives standards as much as everyone else. But you can’t just let him do it all. We’ve got to take ownership of this team. I remember saying two years ago the younger players need to stand up. We have done that.”