Wednesday 20 November 2019

'It's a big loss' - Tommy O'Donnell's horror leg break takes the gloss of Munster win as Gloucester fume over Cipriani red card

Tommy O’Donnell of Munster leaves the field after picking up an injury during the Heineken Champions Cup Round Pool 2 Round 2 match between Munster and Gloucester at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Tommy O’Donnell of Munster leaves the field after picking up an injury during the Heineken Champions Cup Round Pool 2 Round 2 match between Munster and Gloucester at Thomond Park in Limerick. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
David Kelly

David Kelly

Tommy O'Donnell faces another long lay-off after breaking his leg in the second-half of Munster's Champions Cup tie against Gloucester.

And there were further casualties in the bonus-point 36-22 success against Gloucester as centre Dan Goggin sustained a serious knee injury in the final play while hooker Rhys Marshall also went off with a serious upper leg injury.

“We've no confirmation yet but I believe Tommy has broken his leg,” said Munster coach Johann van Graan. "We will know about Dan and Rhys on Monday.

“It's a big loss eight weeks into the season, losing three starters adding to those we are already missing.”

Meanwhile, Gloucester coach Johan Ackermann bemoaned the 30th minute red card after play-maker Danny Cipriani's shoulder made contact with the head of Rory Scannell.

Munster were only leading 5-3 at the time but had the bonus point wrapped up by the 56th minute before a late flurry of consolation tries from the away side.

“My view is simple, it's spoiling the game if there is no intent,” said Ackermann

“It's not going to change the result. I've got a lot to say but I'm not going to say it. It's not going to change anything.

“Danny is disappointed. That's how he protects himself when he trains, he didn't even want to tackle the guy! He wanted to get out of it. It's done and dusted.

“If players want to pay to watch 14 versus 15, that's a great way for it. The law is there to protect the player, that's true.

“Sometimes there is stuff that happens and that's why we call them accidents, like with your car, you don't plan for it.

“None of the high tackles today were there to hurt anybody. It's not like Bastereaud on the floor hitting a fellah, that's a red card.

“It's difficult to speculate how close we could have got to them with fifteen men but the biggest positive for me is that the players showed character and spirit because we could have conceded 60 points.

“I'm not going to get involved in the debate about it. My view is simple, it's spoiling the game if there is no intent.”

Munster's Stephen Archer escaped punishment for a wild head-high tackle late on and his coach Van Graan agreed with the principle of the new rulings regarding high tackles but did have sympathy in terms of consistent application.

“I'll have to look at all the clips. Thee letter of the law says if you make contact with the head you're in trouble. They conceded a red card, we conceded a yellow card.

“There was no intent from Stephen Archer from our side and none from Danny Cipriani on their side but unfortunately it makes the game very difficult. We have to adapt to the letter of the law.”

Peter O'Mahony said: “We have to trust the officials. High tackles have been penalised forever. Nobody is doing it without intent.

“Your goal is always a low tackle. If you're upright and awkward, you're in trouble. We haven't changed the way we are approaching the game.”

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