Erasmus proud and relieved as Munster honour Foley in France
They took the same journey this time, only a different path. All together as one, yet all together without someone.
Perhaps now, after leaving Paris for a second time in a few short months, Munster and their fans can move on with a little more lightness in their hearts and less pressure in their heads.
"Just relieved," Munster's Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus kept on telling us after the 32-7 win over Racing 92. Not because the 80 minutes had left us all on the edge of our seats, rather because everyone knew they would have to return here someday.
"It's been tough," he added, as his side delivered the performance they were threatening in October before Anthony Foley's untimely passing. "It sounds like we're bullet proof. We're not. I'm just proud. And relieved.
"I thought coming over here before that we were close to a performance. On that Friday, the two of us discussed about playing these French boys and his thinking was so clear.
"He said the way they bring on even bigger French boys after 50 or 60 minutes, you just can't get into an arm wrestle for 80 minutes, as you will probably struggle size-wise and momentum-wise.
"I won't say I am sure we would have got a result then, but I'm sure we would have got a good performance. So I'm so glad and relieved. Just for that fact, because I know Axel was right in what he was trying to say. And we tried to play that way.
"Everybody can be proud of our guys and also for Axel because that is how he would have encouraged them to play the game."