The Munster team will have history on their side when they run on to Thomond Park to play the All Blacks on Wednesday.
Thirty years ago the All Blacks were humbled 12 - 0 at this very ground, in front of a crowd of some 12,000 Munster fans.
The All Blacks were given a taste of what the win means locally, when they attended a production of Alone It Stands - the play recounting Munster's win over Graham Mourie's Grand Slam winners 30 years ago.
Mourie and Stu Wilson, who played on the wing, will both be watching the game tomorrow morning (8.30 NZT). The pair shared some insider knowledge with nzherald.co.nz on the men from Munster.
Home Crowd, Home Ground
The Munster team have a proud record, winning two of the three past Heineken Cups, warns Stu Wilson and they will be strong in front of a home crowd at their newly renovated Thomond Park.
Wilson said if the All Blacks had read their history books before 1978, they would have seen the struggles of past All Blacks sides with 6-3 wins to the All Blacks in 1954 and 1963 and a three-all draw in 1973
"They're a very proud provincial union," Wilson said.
He said there were little more than 10,000 fans present to see the All Blacks lose but it felt like 100,000 were at the ground.
"Munster is the hard core area, like the Canterbury Crusaders area of Ireland and everyone plays rugby from all sorts of walks of life. If you go into the Dublin area where the Brian O'Driscolls are, well, you're talking to lawyers, accountants and stock brokers but down in Limerick, everyone plays."
He said the All Blacks will get a deafening crowd that will be comparable to the 80,000 that watched Ireland go down at Croke Park.
Like Wilson, Mourie said Munster is similar to a New Zealand provincial rugby in their make-up and style.
"They're like a rural, country team - You've got Shannon, you've got Limerick, a number of cities but they're probable not an Auckland, more of a Waikato or Hawkes Bay," Mourie said.
Wilson said the team is based around "dockside brawlers".
But he said Munster have also recruited in New Zealand - the list includes Christian Cullen, Rua Tipoki and Doug Howlett, the later two are likely to take the field tomorrow. Lifeimi Mafi, formerly of Taranaki, has also been signed up.
"When they bring in all their guns, shivers, no one wants to play them," Wilson said.
He said it will be interesting to see how the Kiwi players stand up to the haka.
"They'll obviously stand and respect but will they do something themselves?"
Mourie said it will be the Kiwi influence in the backline that the Munster side will rely on.
"It's a very solid consistent forward type of game and it's really the Kiwi guys that are providing the flair for them."
A Bit of Advice
Never underestimate Munster said Wilson.
"You don't want to give them a chance to get their adrenalin and passion rolling. Just do what the All Blacks did in the weekend - play a style of rugby which the Irish fans respect and honour," Wilson said.
He said the silence during Dan Carter's kicking was testament to how much the Irish respect good rugby.
Wilson said giving Munster a sniff of victory is the worst thing the All Blacks can do. "They'll be in like robbers".
Mourie said the All Blacks don't need much advice but they should be aware of the history.
"For them it will be the biggest game of their lives and you just can't take any team with players with that attitude in their head lightly."
All Blacks v Munster
Munster 0 New Zealand 33 at Markets Field, Limerick, Nov 28 1905
Munster 3 New Zealand 6 at Mardyke, Cork, Jan 1 1954
Munster 3 New Zealand 6 at Thomond Park, Limerick, Dec 11 1963
Munster 3 New Zealand 3 at Musgrave Park, Cork, Jan 1 1973
Munster 4 New Zealand 14 at Thomond Park, Limerick, Nov 9 1974
Munster 12 New Zealand 0 at Thomond Park, Limerick, Oct 31 1978
Munster 9 New Zealand 31 at Musgrave Park, Cork, Nov 11 1989
Doug Howlett, Barry Murphy, Rua Tipoki, Lifeimi Mafi, Ian Dowling, Paul Warwick, Peter Stringer, Denis Leamy, Niall Ronan, James Coughlan, Donnacha Ryan, Mick O'Driscoll (captain), Timmy Ryan, Frank Sheahan, Federico Pucciariello. Reserves: Denis Fogarty, Tony Buckley, Mark Melbourne, John O'Sullivan, Billy Holland, Mike Prendergast, Jeremy Manning.
Cory Jane, Hosea Gear, Anthony Tuitavake, Isaia Toeava, Joe Rokocoko, Stephen Donald, Piri Weepu (captain), Liam Messam, Scott Waldrom, Adam Thomson, Jason Eaton, Ross Filipo, Ben Franks, Corey Flynn, Jamie Mackintosh. Reserves: Hikawera Elliot, John Afoa, Brad Thorn, Kieran Read, Alby Mathewson, Richard Kahui, Mils Muliaina.