Dif­fi­cult night for ref­eree Frank Mur­phy

Irish Examiner - Sport - - RUGBY -

Frank Mur­phy’s ap­point­ment as ref­eree for Le­in­ster’s visit to Mun­ster was a topic for con­ver­sa­tion long be­fore the first whis­tle. A na­tive of Cork and one­time Mun­ster player, Mur­phy’s task was made all the harder in a first-half pock­marked by ill-feel­ing and con­tentious is­sues. Here is how it went down.

re­acts to a thump­ing but le­git­i­mate tackle from Fi­neen Wy­cher­ley by tear­ing the blue scrum cap off his head and fling­ing it in the Bantry man’s face.

A dis­cus­sion with the TMO re­sults in a penalty against Sex­ton who is lucky to evade a yel­low. Less than three min­utes have been played.

one of the chief of­fend­ers on the Le­in­ster side in that half, catches Chris Cloete high and late on the touch­line be­fore the South African claims pos­ses­sion. Mun­ster are awarded a penalty from which Cloete even­tu­ally scores the game’s first try.

The game by now is in dan­ger of de­gen­er­at­ing into an­ar­chy, so it is no sur­prise when Mur­phy sends Le­in­ster loose­head

to the bin for 10 min­utes af­ter catch­ing Conor Mur­ray around the neck with a high tackle.

mir­rors Healy’s in­dis­cre­tion by catch­ing Jor­dan Lar­mour with a tackle around the neck but the of­fi­cial’s de­ci­sion is that it mer­its only a penalty against the Mun­ster and Ire­land scrum-half. Not ex­actly con­sis­tent.

barrels into a ruck in an at­tempt to clear out Chris Cloete, who is grap­pling with James Tracy.

He catches the Mun­ster man around the neck/head area with a com­bi­na­tion of his chest and up­per arm. There is no at­tempt to make a wrap. It does not look ma­li­cious, but it is reck­less. Cloete leaves the field on a mo­torised stretcher and in a neck brace.

Fur­long es­capes with a yel­low card which just isn’t good enough.

sets off in chase of a Gar­ry­owen, but de­cides against con­test­ing the drop­ping ball with the air­borne An­drew Con­way who clat­ters into the sta­tion­ary Le­in­ster wing and falls awk­wardly and dan­ger­ously on to his neck.

There is clearly no in­tent on Lowe’s part but his ac­tions put Con­way in dan­ger and the red card shown is the right, and only, op­tion.

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