It's 40 years since the All Blacks suffered one of their most shocking defeats, a 12-0 loss to Irish club side Munster during the 1978 grand slam tour.
The first Grand Slam-winning side were expected to breeze past Munster. However the pack led by captain Graham Mourie and lock Andy Haden, was smashed apart in front of a Limerick crowd at fever pitch. The recently deceased Moss Keane, Gerry McLoughlin and Pat Whelan tore into their work.
Out in the backs little Seamus Dennison knocked over the All Blacks' most potent attacking force, Stu Wilson, to set the tone. Christy Cantillon scored the only try. The All Blacks replied with exactly nothing, prompting Wilson's famous "We were lucky to get nil'' quote.
As Munster celebrated, captain and halfback Donal Canniffe was informed his father had died suddenly during the match. The game has been immortalised by John Breen's hit play Alone It Stands and the best-selling book Stand Up and Fight: When Munster Beat the All Blacks.
In 2002, the late Herald writer D. J. Cameron looked back on the encounter and how the All Blacks responded to the defeat:
The words reality check were not among the rugby jargon when the idealistic All Blacks coached by Jack Gleeson and captained by Graham Mourie were hammered by Munster that grey October afternoon.
For all their after-match good-humour - their Munster hosts were charmed when the All Blacks marched into the after-match dinner in single file, hands on shoulders, chanting the Snow White ditty Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to work we go - the All Blacks were shaken.
The next day they were stirred. Gleeson got a load off his chest when in an impromptu press conference, largely for Fleet St's benefit, he sounded off about the kamikaze tackling that was Munster's principal weapon. Tony Ward, the Munster fly-half, had not passed the ball during the game.
Gleeson's implication was that there was not much point in attempting expansive, 15-man rugby against opposition totally committed to 10-man rugby and crazy crash-
tackling, very often from off-side. Then the All Blacks circled their wagons and planned for the test against Ireland four days later. The side that had played Munster contained many second-tier players.
Bryan Williams found himself relegated to this level - and Brian Ford promoted to Williams' test place - in a move to shake the senior players from their comfort zones.
Gleeson and Mourie tidied up some loose ends from Munster. The defence at the front of the lineout was stiffened, the height at the back increased. Clive Currie became a safer option at fullback than Brian McKechnie. Ashley McGregor's standing among the loose forwards diminished.
But Gleeson's and Mourie's search for reality went deeper into the playing pattern of the side. The previous year in France, Mourie and Gleeson had gained confidence in their search for imaginative and high-speed rugby involving all the players. Up to the Munster match the All Blacks tried to and generally succeeded in playing adventurous rugby, which brought important victories over Cardiff and West Wales, and more comfortable wins against Cambridge University and London Counties.
As they dawdled by bus to Dublin the next day the All Blacks plotted.
Their next three games - virtually the Everest of the tour - were against Ireland, Ulster and Wales.
The success of the tour, and the search for the Holy Grail that was the Grand Slam of victories over the four Home unions, depended entirely on those three.
Gleeson drew his men together. They analysed the lessons of the early wins, and the drastic loss to Munster. With Gleeson leading, and senior players such as Andy Haden, Bryan Williams, Andy Dalton, Bill Osborne and Mark Donaldson pledging their support, the All Blacks decided to shorten sail. The first aim was to beat Ireland, the second was to get past Ulster and beat Wales.
The long-range ambition heading toward the England and Scotland tests was to mount such a strong defence that the All Blacks would gain the initiative and the opposition try-scoring would be limited.
Seldom have any such long-range All Black plans been born so soon after a shattering loss and developed almost perfectly.
In the 10 matches after Munster the All Blacks did not concede a try. Scotland scored one from an intercept and in the lighter atmosphere of the final Barbarians match Mike Slemen of England scored two.
The All Blacks finished their tour with 13 consecutive wins after the Munster loss, and became the first side to gain the Grand Slam.
Strangely, Mourie's men of 1978 are not always regarded among the great All Black touring sides.
But it showed the character of the players and the leadership of Mourie and Gleeson that they should salute Munster that October afternoon, and then march triumphantly through the rest of the tour - bending the knee to no one.