There are a lot of smiling faces in Irish rugby at the moment.
Following on the heady win in Chicago against the World Champions, Munster kept up the momentum by knocking over the Maori All Blacks last night at Thomond Park.
It was a famous win the Munster province, but the game is likely to be most remembered for the emotional tribute paid by the Maori side to the memory of Anthony Foley –
The Maori team made 7 changes from the one that beat the USA (54-7) last weekend and there were 5 new caps.
Munster were missing their Ireland squad players but adapted well in the atrocious conditions to run out by a comfortable 27-14.
To put the Munster performance in context the Maori side have won their last 20 matches against international opponents.
Joe Schmidt has been able to change his entire team for today’s game against Canada and to introduce three new caps – so those who performed in the States will be well rested for the return game against the All Blacks in Dublin next week.
There are a lot of reasons for Irish eyes to be smiling at the moment!