Tuesday 20 February 2018

Conor Murray 'properly p****d off' with Glasgow's targeting tactic


Conor Murray of Munster is treated for an injury during the European Rugby Champions Cup match against Glasgow Warriors
Conor Murray of Munster is treated for an injury during the European Rugby Champions Cup match against Glasgow Warriors
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Conor Murray has blasted Glasgow Warriors for what he felt were their deliberate attempts to injure him during Saturday's European Champions Cup clash.

The Ireland scrum-half has accused the Scots of targeting his standing leg with a series of diving tackles as he was kicking the ball during his side's 14-12 win at Scotstoun and says he feared for his safety. He added that the 2015 Guinness Pro12 champions were the only team who have gone after him in this manner and added that it was not the first time Munster had experienced it from the same opponents.

Murray, who insists he didn't lose consciousness in the second-half incident that is now the subject of an investigation from tournament organisers EPCR, is coming in for increasing levels of attention due to his growing stature for club and country.

While he said he has no issue with being targeted within the laws, he was left furious by Glasgow's behaviour.

"I'm properly p***ed off about that," he said. "I don't see any benefit in charging down someone's standing leg, I only see it as a danger or as a potential to get injured. "I don't think it's a good tactic. They did it to us at Thomond Park, they got our scrum-half Te (Aihe Toma) with it in the league game and they almost got me a couple of times.

"Luckily my leg came out of the ground and I managed to fall over, but if my leg stayed in the ground - especially in that (artificial) surface - you're looking at syndesmosis, you're looking at the cruciate (ligament). I'm not blaming the players. I don't know who told them to do it but it's very dangerous. Thankfully I didn't get injured. They're the only team I've come across that did it."

Conor Murray Photo: Sportsfile
Conor Murray Photo: Sportsfile

Murray has been cleared to face Racing 92 on Saturday after passing all of his Head Injury Assessments (HIA) and meeting with a neurologist and says he was not knocked out when he collided with Tim Swinson's elbow in last Saturday's win.

Munster have defended their medical team, who are under investigation for their role in the incident, but Murray says he has full faith in the process.

"It was a big hit, I'm not trying to get away from that, and I got a bit of a rattle from it but I didn't lose consciousness, I followed everything, all my HIAs, talking to the physios, the doctors and the neurologist; all is well. I trained today fully, I feel fine," insisted the scrum-half.

Keith Earls has picked up a rib injury and is a major doubt for Saturday's game against Racing. Peter O'Mahony, Simon Zebo and Tommy O'Donnell are on course to be fit to play.

Meanwhile, Leinster will be without Hayden Triggs for tomorrow night's Champions Cup clash against Castres after he received a three-week ban after being found guilty of 'making contact with the eye area' of Montpellier's Nic White during last week's Pool 4 clash.

The New Zealander pleaded guilty to the offence, which took place in the 44th minute of the eight-try win and was granted a week less suspension as a result of his admission and his expression of remorse after it was determined the incident was at the lower end of the severity scale. The wording of the charge was crucial, given there are new, tougher sanctions for 'contact with the eye' that have come into force in recent weeks.

Triggs will be free to play again on February 20, meaning he will miss two Pro12 games as well as tomorrow's fixture.

Montpellier's Frans Steyn has been handed a four-week ban for the high tackle on Johnny Sexton that led to his red card. The Springbok's tackle was found to have been a mid-range offence and falls under the new, harsher sanctions.

Irish Independent

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