Sipping on my espresso this morning (Or slurping tea if I was to live up to Stephen Jones Munster supporter caricature) I stumbled upon a minor internet storm. Mr Jones in a predictable enough move had wrote a piece suggesting Munster Rugby might ultimately benefit more from their defeat in the State Velodrome than the victory that never came.His reasoning conveyed in a fairly blunt hap hazard fashion in my opinion was that Munster and their cohort of fans could benefit from another barren season in Europe primarily because they could do with a little more humility. This despite the fact that the province has in recent years become accustomed to record low international representation as well as not being victorious in Europe since 2008. Our keyboard warriors must be working Mr Jones too hard as in almost the same breath Jones criticized the underdog tag assumed by Munster fans in the south of France against what are the current European champions.
Jones contempt for Munsters jovial away support was barely contained as he attempted to argue that their vocal away support was uneconomic and had contributed to unrealistic expectations of the side. His assertion that individuals of quality both coaches and players have hightailed out of town quickly is wholly untrue also. That no example is given on the playing side reveals the empty vessel otherwise known as 'Stephen Jones pre report analysis'. His observation regarding the ability of this Munster team and in particular their back division fails to account for a side which are second both domestically and in European competition for the number of tries scored this season. His guess regarding Munsters poor recruitment in the backs can be routinely dismissed when one realizes Doug Howlett, Jean De Villier & Casey Laulala were not as good as they were supposed to be in Jones estimation.
Finally the fulcrum of the article appeared to suggest union controlled teams will shortly come to an end in Europe partially due to their immoral nature. Curiously private investment has failed spectacularly in both Wales and Australia 2 countries who like Ireland cannot support their own professional competition is naturally enough not mentioned. That Munsters finances are in poor shape is undeniable. That private investment is the best solution as opposed to improved marketing of league games and season tickets is ludicrous when one considers the basket case Welsh regional rugby has evolved into and the balance of income made from international rugby in countries like Ireland.
It seems there are 3 certainties in life, taxes, death & Stephen Jones producing drivel on a Sunday.