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Load of rubbish: Former Ireland star says Zebo's Lowry controversy has been blown out of proportion

By Gareth Hanna

It's all anybody wants to talk about after Saturday evening's game at La Defense Arena, but one former Ireland international has branded the Simon Zebo - Michael Lowry controversy 'a storm in a teacup'.

As Zebo dashed past 20-year-old Lowry to touch down Racing 92's final try of their 44-12 win over Ulster on Saturday evening, he pointed to his Ulster opponent in an action that drew a disapproving intervention from referee Nigel Owens and sparked a flurry of reaction on social media.

For former Munster and Ireland back row Alan Quinlan, it's all much ado about nothing and for him was exacerbated by referee Owens' insistence on an immediate apology from the offending party.

"It's a load of rubbish if you ask me. I don't think the referee should have got involved," Quinlan said on Monday's Off The Ball AM.

"It should be done internally. If I was an Ulster player, I'd have said to Zeebs after the game, 'Look, stop being a smartarse. You shouldn't have done that. He's only a young fella after coming into the team, have a bit of respect'. The sort of person he is, straight away he'd have put his hands up.

"I'm probably the Stuart McCloskey type, running across the field saying 'I'll kill you in the next ruck' or whatever but I think it's just blown out of proportion. "

Quinlan continued to explain how Owens' actions actually worked to detract from the ensuing apologies that former Munster player Zebo was at pains to make.

"(Zebo) plays with a smile on his face, he's eccentric and I feel he's telling the truth in his statement," said Quinlan,

"But it was none of Nigel Owens' business. I'm not even saying it's that big a thing Owens saying it but it's highlighted it a lot more. It's a storm in a teacup.

"I'm glad Simon Zebo apologised and gave him his jersey but it would have been nice to hear that without him having been told you have to apologise. That would have been authentic and good sport.

"Everybody makes mistakes on the field. I know Nigel Owens well and he's a good ref and a good fella but sometimes there's just a bit too much talk."

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