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Murray backs under-fire Beirne

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'By the letter of the law it is a penalty' - Murray backs Munster's Tadhg Beirne over Murrayfield theatrics

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.”

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.”

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'By the letter of the law it is a penalty' - Murray backs Munster's Tadhg Beirne over Murrayfield theatrics