Six tries. 47 points. A 24 point win. The aristocrats of European rugby casually cast aside in one of the great Thomond Park days.
That was the story in 2014, almost three years ago to the day, when Toulouse last visited the home of Munster Rugby, also in the European Quarter Final. It was probably the last great European day for Munster rugby until this season and their incredible renaissance in the months since the tragic death of Anthony Foley.
In 2014, there was some concern for the future of Munster. Ronan O'Gara had just retired, and the previous year's heroic defeat to Clermont in the Heineken Cup semi final was seen by many as the last roar of a dying beast.
But Munster had one more year in them, and one more great European performance before the dreaded "transitional period" was to begin.
Topping a pool which included Gloucester, Edinburgh and Perpignan, they earned a home quarter final against four times winners Toulouse - still a very scary prospect in 2014, even if they were a ways off their glory days.
But from the first minute, Munster seemed absolutely pumped, and eventually cruised into a Heineken semi-final.
The story of the day was the birth of CJ Stander - Man of the Match Hog. He came on early in the first half for an injured Peter O'Mahony was absolutely immense throughout, immediately turning himself from bench player to Munster cult hero in one game.
While it was just 13-9 at half time, Munster always had the upper hand, but a second half blitz of tries from Munster scored by Dave Kilcoyne, Stander, Casey Laulala, Simon Zebo and even Paul O'Connell made it one of the more relaxed days to be at Thomond Park as a Munster fan, especially at that stage of the competition.
— Casey Laulala (@CaseyLaulala) April 5, 2014
There are still 12 of the Munster 23 team who played that day in the current Munster squad, and nine who will be involved in tomorrow's game.
The Munster team who beat Toulouse 47-23 in the 2014 Heineken Cup Quarter Final:
- Dave Kilcoyne
- Damien Varley
- BJ Botha
- Dave Foley
- Paul O'Connell
- Peter O'Mahony (C)
- Tommy O'Donnell
- James Coughlan
- Conor Murray
- Ian Keatley
- Simon Zebo
- James Downey
- Casey Laulala
- Keith Earls
- Felix Jones
Duncan Casey, John Ryan, Alan Cotter, Donncha O'Callaghan, CJ Stander, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Gerhard van den Heever
Not a bad team. It's arguable that (Paul O'Connell aside), this is now a stronger Munster team though, and Toulouse aren't in the greatest shape at the moment. Maybe a repeat performance could be in the offing tomorrow.