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The 'frightening to see' praise for 'in his prime' Peter O'Mahony

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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Last Saturday’s defiant performance by Peter O’Mahony for Munster has earned him effusive praise from ex-Scotland international Jim Hamilton on the latest episode of The Rugby Pod. The back-rower was at the heart of the courageous display that had the Irish province ten points ahead of Toulouse before he exited injured with 16 minutes of normal time remaining. 

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The 32-year-old departed with a bang, getting hit by two Toulouse players while he was hunched over the French team’s ruck and winning a pressure-relieving no-release penalty five metres from his own try line. It was O’Mahony’s fourth turnover win in a fierce contest that was eventually settled in favour of Toulouse by a penalty shootout after the teams had finished level at 24-all after extra-time failed to separate them.  

O’Mahony had been immense for Munster until his departure and his inspired effort was touched on by Hamilton during his review on the show of the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals.  

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“You are talking about fighting for your jersey and on paper Toulouse shouldn’t lose to Munster but what that comes down to from this Munster team – I know they didn’t win and we are talking as if they did because it came down to penalties but that out-and-out physicality for your mates, it was frightening to see.

“If Munster can play like that against a Leinster on any given day they can win it, they could win the URC. It must be difficult to play like that and come away with nothing.    

“You don’t know how much of that (defeat to Toulouse) is him going off injured but for the reasons we have just mentioned, I don’t know what his age is now, I know he is not in his prime, he is 30-odd, has got a lot of grey hairs and has been down the well – unreal player. I just think the way the game is played and I played against him loads and we had a few grabbing matches, but the way the game has evolved and the stuff that I have spoken about the breakdown and the lineout has come back into it a little bit more as well, he looks like he can go forever. 

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“I know he went off injured but it looks like he is in his prime. He really does and he is a fantastic player. He is going to be in and around the Ireland set-up of course, whether or not he starts, but they definitely need him involved. But yeah it did change. I don’t think it was necessarily him going off, it was just Toulouse, you look at their team and you knew were going to come back.”

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