Tuesday 25 June 2019

'I thought Castres were a disgrace' - Alan Quinlan calls for action against the French champions over cheap shots

15 December 2018; Thomas Combezou of Castres Olympique stands over Joey Carbery of Munster after a tackle during the Heineken Champions Cup Pool 2 Round 4 match between Castres and Munster at Stade Pierre Fabre in Castres, France. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
15 December 2018; Thomas Combezou of Castres Olympique stands over Joey Carbery of Munster after a tackle during the Heineken Champions Cup Pool 2 Round 4 match between Castres and Munster at Stade Pierre Fabre in Castres, France. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Former Munster and Ireland international Alan Quinlan has branded Castre Olympique a disgrace for the tactics they deployed in their ill-tempered 13-12 win over Johann van Graan's side on Saturday.

While Quinlan admits that a lack of accuracy, missed place kicks and Munster's failure to reach the pitch of the game physically ultimately cost them, he condemned the off-the-ball tactics used the French champions.

He also accused the match officials of 'offering no form of protection to Munster whatsoever'.

Joey Carbery was hit with a huge tackle in the first half from Thomas Combezou, who then stood over the flyhalf and goaded him.

"If I'm playing, I'm going for him," Quinlan told Off The Ball AM.

"Time have changed, my discipline... I had a red mist and I crossed the line a little bit. I never goaded players or running after guys when winning scrums."

Quinlan felt that referee Wayne Barnes did not have control of the game and outlined a number of incidents that he was very unhappy with.

"I guarantee you if Nigel Owens was reffing that game, both captains would have been called out, 'There are things going on and if it continues I'm going to take action' and then the next fella that does it is gone," he added.

"In the last scrum, their captain stands up, it has nothing to do with Conor Murray, Castres get the penalty. He runs out of the scrum and over to Conor Murray and he's sticking his head into his face, screaming into his face. That kind of stuff is a disgrace.

"The Chris Cloete (alleged) eye gouge by Rory Kockott... how that is missed? I'm an expert on that as well. My one on Leo Cullen was .4 of a second so I admit that it looks worse in slow motion but his hand is going straight for his face there.

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Rory Kockott's hand appeared to make contact with Chris Cloete's face

"That incident was a seven-pointer because Castres went on for a number of phases and scored a try.

"It was pretty clear to me. Castres score a try and a few seconds later Yannick Caballero drops a shoulder into Peter O'Mahony's back. Not picked up.

"Sammy Arnold is in an incident on the touchline before half-time, the Castres number 8 is standing over him trying to take the ball and it's a Munster scrum so he had no reason to grab the ball and then hits him down on the head a few times and the assistant referee comes over and goes, 'Stop, stop stop'.

"The Peter O'Mahony tackle where Marc-Antoine Rallier gets a yellow card, you could argue that's a red.

"Another crucial one, which was a seven-point swing the other way was when Andrew Conway is sliding on the ground and Benjamín Urdapilleta comes in with a sliding tackle. I think it's a penalty try because Conway is spooked by it, you can see a grimace on his face, the contact is low  and here's a guy who played the second Test of the summer tour in Melbourne, scores a try in the corner and (Dane) Haylett-Petty comes in with the two knees, gives him a dead leg and he misses the third leg, he has to go off.

"We saw Fergus McFadden get one off Steff Evans last year in the European semi-final and there was a directive given out at the start of the year to referees.

"Andrew Conway's one didn't result in an injury but I think it made a difference in him scoring the try.

"I think Wayne Barnes lost control of that game and I think if Nigel Owens is reffing that game none of it would have went on.

"It started the week before in Limerick.

"The Kockott incident should have been a red card, a penalty to Munster and no Castres try and the Conway incident should have been a yellow card and a penalty try."

Quinlan felt that Munster should have handled themselves differently in the game.

"Munster needed to be harder particularly at the breakdown but to be fair, Castres were very competitive and physical in that area and maybe Munster were a little bit off with their own aggression and throw caution to the wind.

"I'd like to see Johann van Graan come out and throw a tantrum. To be fair to him and Peter O'Mahony, they kept their integrity and their credibility after the game and they are trying not to say stuff but I think they should launch a rant and stir the fires a bit.

"The EPCR have to act, there is a case of 4-6 bad incidents that could have resulted in serious injuries.

"I thought Castres' discipline was a disgrace and they were a disgrace and I have no problem saying that. If that's the way they want to play rugby then the authorities have to deal with it.

"Their ambition with the ball last week in Thomond Park was deplorable and they went out to beat Munster up.

"People will say Munster should have fought fire with fire but times have changed."

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