May 20, 2006
After coming up short in 2000 and 2002, Munster made it over the final hurdle and defeated Biarritz 23-19 to win their first Heineken Cup title on this day in rugby history in 2006. The Millennium Stadium crowd of 74,000 mainly Munster fans were ready for a celebration.
The Irish side had made the knock-out stage in every Heineken Cup since 1998 losing 3 semi-finals and 2 quarterfinals in addition to the two finals and thought destiny must be on their side this day.
It did not look so good early as Biarritz jumped to an early lead with a 2nd minute try from Sereli Bobo but the tides turned and South African centre Trevor Halstead and Irish scrum-half Peter Stringer in the 17th and 31st minutes respectively.
There were no tries in the second half leaving it up to the kicking battle between Munster’s Ronan O’Gara and Biarritz’ Dimitri Yachvili and while French side’s kicker won that battle 14-13 it was finally Munster’s time to be the bride.
“It’s hard to say what Munster’s secret is. It’s something that comes from where we live. It’s a special place to be,” said Stringer. “You meet your friends in the street and you see how much games like this mean to them. It’s hard to put your finger on what gives us success like this.”
1968 – Waisale Serevi, Fijian rugby union and rugby sevens footballer