All Blacks Defeated
Munster Senior League success continued in the Seventies, although competition from Garryowen, Dolphin, UCC and latterly Shannon, brought an end to the unbeaten run of nine consecutive titles. Jerry Murray captained the 1972 team to another ‘grand slam’ of Cup, League and Charity Cup culminating in a record 30-6 Cup final victory over Garryowen at Musgrave Park.
The Cup was retained in 1973 with Stan Waldron as captain, but that was to be the last Cup success of the decade. John Hogan was captain of the Junior XV which captured the Munster Junior Cup in 1973 beating Bandon in the final, to complete the second Senior / Junior double. In 1975, having defeated Garryowen 18-9 in the League final at Thomond Park, there was disappointment to lose to them in the Cup final at Musgrave Park on a score line of 4-6. Tony Ward, in his first Cup campaign, kicked two penalties to eclipse Dave Meagher’s first half unconverted try.
A Munster Senior League treble was achieved in 1975-77 period, while another League title was won in 1979 under Barry McGann’s captaincy.
When Noel Murphy and Tom Kiernan retired from the playing arena, they became involved in coaching at club level, before moving on to Munster and Ireland. Noel Murphy coached the Munster team that drew 3-3 with the All Blacks at Musgrave Park in 1973, while Tom Kiernan had a major success with Munster when the All Blacks were famously beaten 12-0 at Thomond Park in October 1978. Donal Canniffe, who had moved to Lansdowne in 1974, was captain, while Jimmy Bowen, Greg Barrett, Moss Finn and Chris Cantillon all starred on the day. Noel Murphy was Asst. Manager/Coach to the Lions in South Africa in 1980, and in September, he brought the Lions to Musgrave Park, where they played a Cork Constitution Presidents XV.
Tom Kiernan’s international career ended against Scotland in 1973. He won 54 caps and captained Ireland in 24 games. Jimmy Bowen was capped for Ireland in 1977 while Barry McGann won the last of 25 caps against New Zealand in 1976. Bertie Smith was selected for the first Ireland ‘B’ team which played France in 1976.
End of season club tours became a feature during the Seventies. There were successful tours to Zambia & Kenya 1971; New York & Philadelphia 1973 and Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver, Canada 1980.
The club facilities at Temple Hill were expanded with the addition of a third playing pitch in 1976.
.Tom Kiernan was Munster Branch President 1977-78