Tuesday 27 September 2016

Munster promoting R.E.S.P.E.C.T at Thomond Park after fans turn on players

Published 15/12/2015 | 17:08

Ian Keatley, Munster, kicks a penalty to score Munster's first points of the game. European Rugby Champions Cup, Pool 4, Round 3, Munster v Leicester Tigers. Thomond Park, Limerick. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
Ian Keatley, Munster, kicks a penalty to score Munster's first points of the game. European Rugby Champions Cup, Pool 4, Round 3, Munster v Leicester Tigers. Thomond Park, Limerick. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Munster are promoting respect after a section of fans jeered flyhalf Ian Keatley during the 31-19 defeat at the hands of Leicester last Saturday.

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Former players have reacted angrily to the response from the terraces when Keatley was called ashore seven minutes from time after enduring a tough night in the number 10 shirt.

In a statement on their website, the province set out what they are calling for:

  • R - Respect for both teams, officials and stadium staff. Please remember it is a family occasion, we encourage a vocal crowd and sporting behaviour.
  • E - Enjoy the game. We want everyone attending Irish Independent Park and Thomond Park to enjoy the experience and feel safe.
  • S - Silence for the kicker. We encourage our fans and opposition supporters to uphold the tradition of remaining silent for all kickers when taking shots at goal.
  • P - Participate in the overall match-day experience. Please be vocal in your support, wear your team colours and continue to be upstanding in showing your support on match-day.
  • E - Educate and welcome younger supporters. It is a family occasion and we want our younger supporters to enjoy memorable moments and become life-long members of the club, show them how to support rugby positively, leading by example.
  • C - Call out those around you who display unsporting behaviour. We have stewards positioned around the stadium in the terraces and stands, and we ask that you consult them for any issues that may arise.
  • T - Traditions to be recognised. Please continue to uphold our traditions and values as a club.

Speaking on Off The Ball last night, former Munster star Trevor Hogan voiced his displeasure at the action of some supporters last weekend.

"It's terrible. I had to rewind it to see if I was seeing things," he said.

"There was a couple of people sniggering there, laughter. It's absolutely unjustifiable.

"If you are a supporter, that is a line you do not cross. It's the lowest of the low.

"The only thing that is lower is racism or sexual harassment. That is pathetic.

"Munster fans are the most passionate and knowledgeable around and that'd why it's even more disappointing.

"It's the opposite of support.

"You look at the faces on the players who are already off the pitch and they can hear it.

"You talk about the unity of the fans and the players... it's got to be rigid, it's got to be unbreakable no matter what happens on the field.

"To kick him when he's down.... the fans that did it have to look at themselves hard. Are you a real Munster person? because what you did there was worse than anything that has happened in Thomond Park ever.

"It was just disgraceful."

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