Conor Murray had played down the controversial incident that had a major influence in sweeping Munster into this month’s Champions Cup semi-finals against Saracens.
The Irish province were losing to Edinburgh in last Saturday’s quarter-final at Murrayfield when Tadhg Beirne theatrically threw himself to the floor in an abrupt manner following a shoulder from Pierre Schoeman.
It led to referee Pascal Gauzerre reversing a penalty decision and this fortuitous possession and territory enabled Munster to go on and score a try from Keith Earls to ultimately win the game 17-13.
Beirne’s penalty-winning antics were later criticised by numerous ex-players, including the legendary Brian O’Driscoll, but Murray doesn’t believe the second row did anything wrong and claimed he was rightly given a favourable decision by the French referee.
Asked by RugbyPass if Beirne had been on the receiving end of any teasing at Munster training in Limerick this week, the scrum-half replied: “A small bit, a small bit.”
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Joking aside, though, Murray backed his man over what happened in Scotland. “You are going to have to ask Tadhg how badly he was hurt because only he knows that. I think I saw the replay of it a couple of days later. At the time I didn’t really see it, I was just thankful that the penalty was reversed.
“But I saw it in slow motion and it doesn’t look like much, but then if you play it in real time live it is clearly a penalty because Schoeman eyes him up from about 10 metres away and does give him more than an elbow,” said the Pinergy ambassador.
“It’s probably more a full arm, a little of a shoulder and he definitely obstructs his path. By the letter of the law it is a penalty. Whatever was made of it after is what was made, but thankfully for us it was reversed and rightly so. We got to go down the pitch and eventually score a try.”
Munster have done it! ?
They're into the semi-finals for the FOURTEENTH time! ?
Sensational from the Red Army! ? pic.twitter.com/itj3qwRz9H
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) March 30, 2019
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