Friday 24 May 2019

'It was none of Nigel Owens' business' - Alan Quinlan on Simon Zebo celebration

Michael Lowry of Ulster speaks to Simon Zebo of Racing 92
Michael Lowry of Ulster speaks to Simon Zebo of Racing 92

Tony Considine

Former Munster and Ireland back row Alan Quinlan thinks that Nigel Owens went too far in suggesting to Simon Zebo to apologise to Ulster's Michael Lowry after the Racing 92 winger taunted the Ulster man on Saturday.

Zebo was seen wagging his finger at Lowry as he went past him to touch down for Racing's fifth try. Immediately afterwards, referee Owens was heard telling Zebo there was no need for it and advising him to say sorry.  

There has been much debate about the matter since with many commentators suggesting there was no need for Zebo to apologise and Quinlan agreed.

"It's a load of rubbish if you ask me," Quinlan said, speaking on Monday's Off The Ball AM.

"It should be done internally. If I was an Ulster player, I'd have said to Zeebs after the game, 'Look, stop being a smartarse. You shouldn't have done that. He's only a young fella after coming into the team, have a bit of respect'. The sort of person he is straight away he'd have put his hands up.”

Zebo was seen apologising to Lowry on the pitch and later released a tweet saying he was "disappointed" in himself for his conduct. 

"I don't think the referee should have got involved saying you've got to go over there and apologise," Quinlan continued.

"Look, I'm probably the Stuart McCluskey type, running across the field saying 'I'll kill you in the next ruck' or whatever but I think it's just blown out of proportion. He plays with a smile on his face, he's eccentric and I feel he's telling the truth in his statement.

"But it was none of Nigel Owens' business. I'm not even saying it's that big a thing Owens saying it but it's highlighted it a lot more. It's a storm in a teacup.

"I'm glad Simon Zebo apologised and gave him his jersey but it would have been nice to hear that without him having been told you have to apologise. That would have been authentic and good sport. 

"Everybody makes mistakes on the field. I know Nigel Owens well and he's a good ref and a good fella but sometimes there's just a bit too much talk."   

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