History of rugby union matches between Munster and New Zealand
Munster Rugby has a strong tradition of competitiveness against touring rugby teams. They have played the All Blacks, the national team of New Zealand, 8 times since 1905. In 1978, they became the first Irish team, including the Irish national team, to have won a match the history of competition between the countries, and remained the only Irish team to beat the All Blacks until the national team won their 2016 game.
History of matches between Munster and New Zealand
The 1905 Original All Blacks were the first New Zealand national rugby union team to tour outside Australasia. Captained by Irish born Dave Gallaher, they toured the British Isles, France, Ireland and the United States during 1905–06 and became known as "The Originals". Their match with Munster was played at Markets Field in Limerick on Tuesday 28 November and the touring side defeated Munster 33–0. The eight tries witnessed by the 3,000 strong crowd included a penalty try after Fred Roberts was tripped close to the line. Munster were captained by Basil Maclear.
Munster A. Quillinan, A. Newton, B. McLear, W.O Stokes, R.M McGrath, F. McQueen, J. O'Connor, J. Wallace, T.S Reeves, S.K Hosford, M. White, R. Welply, T. Acheson, T. Churchwarden.
New Zealand Booth, Smith, McGregor, Deans, Abbot, Mynott, Stead, Gillet, Newton, Tyler, Mackrell, Cunningham, Nicholson, McDonaldson, Glasgow, Roberts
Between 1953 and 1954, New Zealand toured the British Isles, France and North America. They played Munster at the Mardyke in Cork, winning 6 - 3 on 13 January 1954 in front of a crowd of 7000 in cold and snowy conditions.
Munster B. G. M. Wood, D. Crowley, J. T. Clifford, J. S. McCarthy, T. E. Reid, M. Madden, B. Cussen, G. Reidy, J. A. O'Meara, D. Daly, N. Coleman, R. Godfrey, G. Kenny, B. Mullen, P. Berkery
New Zealand C. A. Woods, I. J. Clarke, J. W. Kelly, K. L. Skinner, D. O. Oliver, G. N. Dalzell, K. P. Bagley, P. F. H. Jones, R. C. Stuart, V. D. Bevan, L. S. Haig, D. D. Wilson, J. T. Fitzgerald, J. M. Tanner, W. S. S. Freebairn 
In 1963, the All Blacks toured the British Isles, France and Canada. On 11 December that year, they beat Munster again by 6 - 3. The game was played at Thomond Park in Limerick in wet and windy conditions. New Zealand were captained by Ian Clarke.
Munster T.J Kiernan, M. Lucey, J, Walsh, B. O'Brien, P. McGrath, M. English, N. Kavanagh, M. O'Callaghan, P. Lane, M. Carey, J. Murray, M. Spillane, D. Kiely, H. Wall, N. Murphy.
New Zealand M. A. Herewini, I. S. T. Smith, W. L. Davis, I. R. MacRae, B. A. Watt, E. W. Kirton, C. R. Laidlaw, B. J. Lochore, K. R. Tremain, A. J. Stewart, R. H. Horsley, K. E. Barry, I. J. Clarke, J. Major, J. M. Le Lievre
In 1972 and 1973 New Zealand toured Britain, Ireland, France and North America. Munster drew 3-3 with them in Musgrave Park in Cork, on 16 January with the All Blacks only securing the draw with a penalty in the last minute of the game. New Zealand were captained by Alex Wyllie.
New Zealand T. J. Morris, B. G. Williams, G. R. Skudder, D. A. Hales, R. M. Parkinson, I.N. Stevens, G. L. Colling, A. R. Sutherland, A. J. Wyllie, A. M. Haden, I. M. Eliason, B. Holmes, K. K. Lambert, R. A. Urlich, A. L. R. McNicol 
In 1974 Munster played New Zealand in their tour of the British Isles with New Zealand winning 14 - 4 at the Mardyke, on 9 November in front of a crowd of 10800. New Zealand were captained by Andy Leslie.
New Zealand K. J. Tanner, J. F. Karam, B. G. Williams, G. B. Batty B. J. Robertson, J. E. Morgan, D. J. Robertson, S. M. Going, A. R. Leslie, K. W. Stewart, H. H. Macdonald, P. J. Whiting, I. A. Kirkpatrick, A. J. Gardiner, R. W. Norton
In 1978, New Zealand toured the northern hemisphere. In a highly successful tour the All Blacks won every match, except the fixture against Munster.
Munster became the only Irish side to beat the All Blacks. The 12–0 victory took place on Tuesday 31 October 1978 at Thomond Park, in front of a crowd of 12,000. Munster were coached by former Ireland and British and Irish Lions captain Tom Kiernan. Kiernan, who had played in the 1963 and 1973 games against the All Blacks targeted the match. He ensured that Munster were physically fit and as part of his preparation, Munster undertook a two-match tour to London playing Middlesex and the Exiles, a team mainly made up of London Irish players.
Although Munster were not expected to win, Christy Cantillon scored a try with Tony Ward converting. Ward also adding a dropped goal in each half. New Zealand were held scoreless with New Zealand wing Stu Wilson remarking afterwards that "We were lucky to get nil". Wilson likened the match to playing on front of a crowd of 100,000, such was the noise. Graham Mourie was the captain of the New Zealand team and Donal Canniffe captained Munster.
Munster G. A. McLoughlin, P. C. Whelan, L. White, M. I. Keane, B. Foley, C. Cantillon, C. Tucker, D. E. Spring, D. Canniffe, A. J. P. Ward, J. Bowen, G. Barrett, S. Dennison, M. Finn, L. A. Moloney
New Zealand B. R. Johnstone, J. E. Black, G. A. Knight, F. J. Oliver, A. M. Haden, W. G. Graham, G. N. K. Mourie, A. A. McGregor, M. W. Donaldson, E. J. Dunn, B. G. Williams, J. L. Jaffray, B. J. Robertson, S. S. Wilson, B. J. McKechnie 
Munster played New Zealand who were reigning Rugby World Cup champions, having won the inaugural competition in 1987, in their 1989 tour at Musgrave Park, Cork, on 11 November 1989, losing 9 - 31. The match had an attendance of 18,000 with Buck Shelford captaining the visitors.
Munster P. M. Clohessy, T. J. Kingston, J. J. Fitzgerald, M. J. Galwey, D. G. Lenihan, K. O'Connell, P. T. J. O'Hara, P. C. Collins, M. T. Bradley, R. P. Keyes, P. V. Murray, C. Murphy, M. J. Kiernan, J. Galvin, K. J. Murphy.
New Zealand R. O. Williams, S. B. T. Fitzpatrick, R. W. Loe, Z. V. Brooke, M. J. Pierce, S. B. Gordon, W. T. Shelford, G. T. M. Bachop, G. J. Fox, N. J. Schuster, J. T. Stanley, T. J. Wright, C. R. Innes, J. A. Gallagher.
The All Blacks returned to Thomond Park on 18 November 2008, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the 1978 game and to celebrate the opening of the new stadium. Four of the 1978 team, Graham Mourie, Bryan Williams, Mark Donaldson and Gary Knight were in the crowd for the occasion. Prior to kick off, Munster's four New Zealand players, Rua Tipoki, Doug Howlett, Lifeimi Mafi and Jeremy Manning, challenged the All Blacks by performing the Haka first. Munster were without 10 of their squad who were on international duty and New Zealand chose to play an understrength team, resting key players for the forthcoming match against Ireland a few days later.
Munster almost repeated history, leading 16-10 at half time and after 76 minutes of the match were winning 16-13. The Munster try, scored by Barry Murphy in the first half, was the only one scored against New Zealand during their European leg of the 2008 end of year rugby tests. A late try by Joe Rokocoko secured a win for the All Blacks with a final score 18-16.
Media reporting towards the match was extremely positive, commending the atmosphere, and the physical intensity of the Munster players. New Zealand coach Graham Henry said that the experience would help the development of many of the All Blacks who were young and inexperienced and might not have felt the sort of heat Munster and their crowd were able to generate.
New Zealand J. L. Mackintosh, C. R. Flynn, B. J. Franks, A. J. Thomson, R. A. Filipo, J. J. Eaton, S. L. Waldrom, L. J. Messam, P. A. T. Weepu, I. Toeava, A. T. Tuitavake, J. T. Rokocoko, H. E. Gear, C. S. Jane. S. R. Donald. 
Book, Play and Documentary on the 1978 game
A stage play named Alone it Stands by John Breen and a book named Stand Up and Fight: When Munster Beat the All Blacks by Alan English were both based on the events. Both have been commercially successful. Alone it Stands has had several sell-out runs in Ireland and has played in the Sydney Opera House and in Auckland. "Stand Up and Fight" was a bestseller in 2005.
Before the 2008 match, the All Blacks attended a production of the play to understand what the game meant to Munster supporters.
Munster players from New Zealand
A number of key players from New Zealand have been involved with Munster over the years:
- Doug Howlett, New Zealand's current all-time highest try scorer.
- Rua Tipoki, former New Zealand Māori captain.
- Christian Cullen, New Zealand's second-highest try scorer.
- Lifeimi Mafi, former New Zealand Sevens player.
- Sam Tuitupou, who has 10 caps for the All Blacks, played for Munster during the 2010/2011 season.
- Casey Laulala, capped twice by the All Blacks.
Jeremy Manning, Nick Williams, Tyler Bleyendaal, Rhys Marshall and Te Aihe Toma, all from New Zealand, have played for Munster, although none have had any representative honours with New Zealand. Jason Holland, from Taranaki, played 102 times for Munster and was their backs coach after retiring. Although Holland was from New Zealand, he qualified to play for Ireland and represented the 'A' Team (now the Ireland Wolfhounds).
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