In Jo’burg, with no coffee buddies and no answers

Scrum coach Jerry Flannery and technical coach Felix Jones chat with Munster head coach Johann van Graan. Ronan O’Gara feels that the departure of Flannery and Jones completely rocks the whole organisation. Picture: Bryan Keane

When you are idle in a hotel room in Johannesburg, the pre-match statistics booklet for the Heineken Cup final offers welcome respite from the boredom. Where’s the oul paddies out here when you need one for a chat? Which is why a mass of statistics has become my coffee buddy for part of the week.

Tomorrow’s final in Newcastle will be Leinster’s 168th match in the Heineken Cup, only bettered by Munster on 174. If the reigning champions still lag behind their provincial rivals in that solitary sphere, they are well ahead of them in most every other area.

The Crusaders were on a flight to South Africa last Saturday by the time JJ Hanrahan saved Munster’s bacon and their season in the PRO14 at home to Treviso. A couple of days later we learn that coaches Felix Jones and Jerry Flannery are leaving the management team at the end of the season.

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