Munster’s Covid nightmare in South Africa could be turned around into a driving force for glory the same way that Connacht being stranded in Siberia five years ago propelled them to their first trophy when they won the PRO12, according to back rower Eoghan Masterson.
The 28-year old said they used Connacht’s marathon trip to Siberia to bond the squad and it played a big role in them marching to the title later that season.
Masterson wasn’t on the trip to Siberia in November 2015 when the squad’s aircraft froze and left them stranded before they got home through various routes four days later.
“I hope Munster get home and get home safe and everyone is feeling healthy and that issue is resolved as quickly as possible. I know our guys were stuck in an airport in mid-Russia for a couple of days and no showers, hotel rooms, and they just found a way to make it work and in hindsight it was a great opportunity to bond as a team.”
Masterson played against Enisei-STM in the return match at the Sportsground two months later when they won 47-5 and by then the squad had got enormous momentum from their remarkable trip to Siberia.
“I’m raging I missed out on that trip because people only speak about it with fond memories. Nobody came back from that trip with a bad word to say about it. They just said it was incredible and when they got delayed a little bit longer there were nearly smiles on faces because the attitude was ‘we will make this work and we will have a good time and make the most of it’, and I think that’s the only way you can look at it.”