Peter O'Mahony delivers powerful Ashling Murphy tribute after Munster win
Well said by the Munster captain.
Nearing midnight at a frigid Stade Pierre Fabre, Peter O'Mahony stood out on the pitch and reflected on another hard-got Munster win. The captain was determined to say his piece, on behalf of his team, on a dreadful matter back home.
On Tuesday, school teacher Ashling Murphy was murdered in Tullamore after being attacked while out for an afternoon run. Murphy's death has left a devastated family, a bereft local community and shook the entire populace.
Not long after Munster's 16-13 victory over Castres, during which their captain led from the front, O'Mahony paid tribute to Murphy, who did her teacher training at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick.
"Given everything that has happened at home, there is a bit of a sombre mood in the dressing room, after what's gone on.
"We weren't able to be part of all the tributes and vigils for Ashling Murphy, at home, [after] the shocking act that happened. Look, she was part of our community in Limerick, having gone to Mary I.
"I'm sure everyone's thoughts are with her family and, on behalf of everyone in the dressing room and everyone at Munster, our thoughts are with Ashling's family, and with her extended family and friends."
Munster captain Peter O'Mahony has offered his condolences on behalf of the squad and everyone at Munster Rugby to the family & friends of Mary Immaculate College graduate Ashling Murphy following her tragic death on Wednesday.
RIP Ashling Murphy. pic.twitter.com/VzjhOYQyly
— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) January 14, 2022
O'Mahony made four turnovers [two lineout steals, two poaches] in Munster's victory, which secured them a place in the knock-out stages of the Champions Cup.
On the latest House of Rugby URC [LISTEN from 16:00 below], former Munster outhalf Ian Keatley defended the province's current coaches and gave his thoughts on where the current squad stand.
Peter O'Mahony leads Munster to vital win
There was a moment, with seven minutes to go and Munster trailing 13-9, that O'Mahony may have been rueing.
Castres conceded a penalty, just outside their 22, and Jack Crowley was eyeing up the posts. O'Mahony assessed the situation and reckoned Munster go for broke. Crowley got the nod to kick for touch. Munster were going for the attacking lineout and hoping to power over from close range.
A chance to go just 13-12 behind, with time to eek out another scoring opportunity, was turned down. Cup rugby is all about taking your points, but Munster - despite earlier lineout issues - were backing themselves.
The call looked a bad one when Diarmuid Barron's lineout was stolen and Munster then infringed at the breakdown. Castres celebrated like it was the winning of the game, but O'Mahony, John Hodnett and Gavin Coombes had other ideas.
Hodnett made a rampaging run, right up the centre, and won his side another penalty. At this stage, there was only three minutes to play and a penalty would do Munster no good. They went for the line again and, this time, the lineout throw found it's target - O'Mahony. Munster pounded away at the Castres line and the potent Coombes powered over.
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) January 14, 2022
For the second time in six days, Munster were able to dig deep to deliver a comeback win. They will be a handful for whoever gets them in the knock-out stages.