Wednesday 21 February 2018

Matt O'Connor laments 'harsh' yellow card but admits Leinster were second best

Leinster head coach Matt O'Connor. Guinness PRO12, Round 11, Munster v Leinster. Thomond Park, Limerick. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Leinster head coach Matt O'Connor. Guinness PRO12, Round 11, Munster v Leinster. Thomond Park, Limerick. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Leinster head coach Matt O'Connor says Darragh Fanning's second half yellow card was harsh, but admitted his side were second best to Munster in their Thomond Park defeat.

The Leinster winger was sin-binned in the 50th minute when he came around the Munster ruck believing the ball was out. Referee Nigel Owens disagreed and Ian Keatley kicked the resulting penalty to make it 21-6 to the home side.

The home side ran out 28-13 winners in the end to complete the double over their rivals but O'Connor says the decision  by Owens to reduce the reigning PRO12 champions to 14 men was a harsh call.

Read more: Munster claim double over Leinster with comprehensive victory at Thomond Park

"I thought the ball was out to be honest," he said afterwards. "That's the referee's prerogative obviously and they are one of the calls that potentially go against you away from home when you are on the back foot."

"It made it hard to chase the game from that point but we were second best up until then."

O'Connor said his team lacked accuracy against a physical game plan implemented by Anthony Foley's side.

Read more: CJ Stander: We want to turn Thomond Park into a fortress

"They kicked the ball a lot, they chased pretty hard. They won those 50/50s. From there they go momentum."

"We defended for a lot of the game and Munster looked after the ball very well and made us work hard."

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