In an act of outrageous audacity, perpetrated in view of half the stadium but not, apparently, any of the officials, the Leicester Tigers openside had knocked the ball out of Peter Stringer's hands as he prepared to put in to a scrum in a superb attacking situation. In doing so he knocked the Heineken Cup out of Munster's reach.
Some would like to consider it cheating, which is ludicrous as any flanker who is not trying to get away with things at every breakdown cannot be deemed to be trying.
To their credit, Munster simply absorbed the lesson and toughened up, going on to win two Heineken Cups of their own. Afterwards the culprit observed that he had simply done what was needed to help his team lift the trophy for a second successive season, an achievement only matched a full decade later, by Leinster this season.
It summed up everything that needs to be known about the man who has now been recruited by Edinburgh to drill their forwards: Neil Back is a winner.
The following year would bring the crowning glory to a career in which he enjoyed umpteen league and cup successes with Leicester, Grand Slam triumphs with England and three tours with the British & Irish Lions.
Perhaps even more relevant as he comes to Scottish rugby, is that he has defied the odds as someone who, operating in the Brobdingnagian world of forward play in the rugby professional era, stood just 5ft 10in tall and weighed in at little more than 14 stones.
It took him four years as an outstanding performer at Leicester, to persuade the English selectors that he could match up to the bigger men, coincidentally making his debut in a controversial win at Murrayfield in 1994. Thereafter Back became as important a player for his national team as he was at club level and that determination to do what is needed to win is perhaps best summed up by the fact that, as well as his 16 international tries, he remains the only English forward to have registered a Test drop goal.
Back took his first head coach's job at Leeds Tykes, whom he guided to the Championship title in his first season. Once again he outstripped expectations in keeping them in the Premiership the following season before making the surprising move to third division Rugby, where he oversaw their league and cup double last season.
Any doubts that he retains his appetite to test himself at the highest level have been blown away, however, by his willingness to take an assistant coach's job at a club that has under-performed throughout the professional era. He has since laid out his philosophy on taking the post.
"There are lots of elements to a rugby player, and to being in a position to technically and physically excel, so my coaching philosophy is to be meticulous in everything we do. It's very much about the absolute fine detail needed to maximize your potential," he said.
"All of this contributes to my love for the coaching and training environment. I'm a passionate coach. I'm 100% committed, 100% of the time, and I'm really looking forward to this challenge."
All of which speaks to an intensity of attitude that has often been absent at Murrayfield in the past decade. Since the Scottish Rugby Union owns both the country's professional clubs, the only concern that might be raised by his recruitment is that it could once again be interpreted as demonstrating favouritism towards Edinburgh over Glasgow Warriors when a world-class operator has become available.
That, however, is not for Edinburgh's players or supporters to worry about. Michael Bradley, the head coach, knows that on his management team he now has a man who will seek to challenge everyone in the organisation at every turn.
"There is a consistent thread of success throughout his playing and coaching career, his attention to detail is exceptional and he has already outlined clearly the standards he expects of himself and our squad," said the Irishman, who took Edinburgh to their first Heineken Cup semi-final in his first campaign in charge last season. "Technically he is very strong and his coaching credentials stand out as someone who gets the best out of players, a characteristic which, added to him being a consistent winner, makes him a very positive appointment for Edinburgh Rugby.
"If our forwards can embrace that sort of focus and commitment, something I think they crave, then Edinburgh Rugby will go from strength to strength."
profile Englishman's career shaped by determination to get the job done, writes Kevin Ferrie