Belfast Telegraph

Murray raps 'dangerous' Glasgow and maintains he wasn't knocked out

By Ruaidhri O'connor

Conor Murray is at the centre of two storms while riding the crest of a wave.

He is in the form of his life, operating at a level that has him being talked of as the world-leading scrum-half and a Lions starter in waiting as he propels Munster back to the European knockout stages.

Yet his head is the centre of an EPCR inquiry over the Head Injury Assessment (HIA) he underwent during Saturday's win over Glasgow Warriors, while his leg and the attention paid to it by the Glasgow forwards is another hot topic of conversation.

Munster are preparing for a sold-out clash with French champions Racing 92 having secured their return to the Champions Cup quarter-finals. The focus has remained on Murray's HIA however. He went down after a "mis-timed" tackle on Tim Swinson and lay prone before receiving treatment.

He carried on until the Munster medical team opted to call him ashore to check out the extent of the head injury. Satisfied by the results, they allowed him to return and finish the game.

The television pictures suggested the player may have been knocked out, but Murray says he never lost consciousness and was "rattled" by the challenge that left him with a neck injury that has required further treatment.

After the game, he passed the HIA 2 test and then underwent further testing with the province's medical team on Monday. On Tuesday he went to see Dr Brian Sweeney, a consultant neurologist at Cork University Hospital. He has been cleared for Saturday.

While he calmly articulated the steps he went through to ensure that he had not been concussed, he was more riled up by the way Glasgow went after his standing leg when he was box-kicking and accused the Scottish side of deliberately setting out to injure him.

"I just mis-timed the tackle. I was rattled by it. I didn't lose consciousness," he said of the incident with Swinson. "I put my head on the wrong side and made contact with his elbow and just was a little bit dazed.

"Andrew Conway was beside me and I was talking to him, just saying, 'it's my neck, I just hurt my neck'. Then it just blew up after the game.

"We followed every protocol above and beyond. It was a big hit, I'm not trying to get away from that, and I got a bit of a rattle from it but I didn't lose consciousness, I followed everything, all my HIAs, talking to the physios, the doctors and the neurologist; all is well. I trained today fully, I feel fine.

"It's very dangerous when someone gets a bang on the head. We're really well-educated about that now."

While he was measured on the topic of his head, the perceived deliberate targeting of his legs left him furious.

He believes that there is a pattern to the behaviour that has run through Munster's three clashes with Glasgow so far this season that has seen forwards throw themselves at the scrum-half's standing leg as he attempts a box-kick.

"I'm properly p***** off about that," he said. "I don't see any benefit in charging down someone's standing leg, I only see it as a danger.

"I just can't see a way of that being legal or any way that could lead to a charge down.

"The ball is long gone from my hands and it's really dangerous and it will end up with someone getting properly injured.

"I just don't think it's fair. It's not safe."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph