Rugby

Watch: 300th Cap, 79th Minute, Game Gone, John Muldoon Puts Defender In Orbit

Watch: 300th Cap, 79th Minute, Game Gone, John Muldoon Puts Defender In Orbit

A blistering Adam Byrne interception and a stunning Danie Poolman-finished team score were the pick of the tries as Leinster saw off Connacht in a pulsating encounter in Galway.

A sold out Sportsgrounds was rocking throughout as Leinster edged towards a home PRO12 sem-final with a 37-24 win. In spite of it's gratuitous entertainment values, however, it will likely be a game remembered for John Muldoon becoming the first ever Irish player to represent his province on 300 occasions.

If ever a man embodied all things good about Connacht Rugby, it's the 34-year-old Portumna man.

Here is man who made his senior debut in 2004, just a year after the IRFU proposed winding Connacht up for good. Here's a man who took the reins as captain for the first time four years later, aged 25. A man who, in 2012, started all six games for the Westerners in their first ever Heineken Cup, and who starred in their first ever victory in that competition as Connacht scalped Harlequins in Galway. A man who, 10 years on from his debut, put debilitating injuries behind him to take over as captain once more following the retirement of Craig Clarke. A man who captained Connacht to an all-time highest 7th position in the PRO12 that same season, starting all 22 league games. A Man of the Match, two years later, as he led Connacht to their first ever major trophy with a 20-10 victory over Leinster in the PRO12 final.

And here he was 78 minutes into his record-breaking 300th appearance, his side trailing by an insurmountable 13 points, still absolutely bouncing lads seemingly for no reason other than he's John fucking Muldoon. And what other reason does he need?

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Young Nick McCarthy of Leinster will most certainly enjoy better moments, but what better way for Connacht's captain supreme to mark an otherwise disappointing night than to lay down the law to a youngster in front of his own players and fans. Truth be told, he probably hadn't given up on the game quite yet, but he got his point across quite succinctly.

300 not out for one a man who, despite not being recognised by way of international caps, will eventually go down as one of Irish rugby's finest.

SEE ALSO: Watch: Sportsgrounds Erupt As Connacht Score Breathtaking Try Against Leinster

Gavan Casey
Article written by
Former handwriting champion. Was violently bitten by a pelican at Fota Wildlife Park in 2001.

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