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16th Apr 2023

“Unacceptable” – Peter O’Mahony on receiving end of some nasty treatment during Munster win

Patrick McCarry

Peter O'Mahony

“Did you see the hands in the eye?”

Peter O’Mahony was one of the calmest men at DHL Stadium, moments after he was in the eye of a Stormers storm.

The Munster captain sparked a mini melée when he was pinged for side entry to a ruck as he tried to poach breakdown ball. Munster were winning 7-0 at the time and it was one of those grey area plays that O’Mahony often comes out the right side of.

On this occasion, though, he was pinged for not taking a step back then coming through the gate at a proper angle. O’Mahony felt he had made a poach but the whistle sounded to let him know the call had gone against him.

Stormers hooker Joseph Dweba took exception to a grounded O’Mahony not releasing the ball. He gave him a jolt and the Munster blindside responded by trying to push him away. Dweba then sat up and pinned O’Mahony to the ground while Stormers lock Marvin Orie, inexplicably, arrived on the scene and pinned his face to the turf.

Peter O’Mahony gets into it with Joseph Dweba and Marvin Orie. (Credit: URC)

Peter O’Mahony alerts referee

The actions by the two Stormers players caused men from both teams to flood the scene to try break it up, while having their say on matters. O’Mahony then got into it with Springboks tighthead Frans Malherbe, prompting Orie to rush over and again put his hands in O’Mahony’s face.

When the flash-point scene was cleared and calmed, Peter O’Mahony alerted referee Craig Evans to the fact that a hand had been placed on his face and around his eyes on two separate occasions.

Evans sent both sets of players to their own halves and reviewed the footage. Seeing the actions of Orie, he stated, “Blue 5 with hands in the face. That is unacceptable.”

As there was no clear evidence, on his viewing, of O’Mahony being gouged or his eyes being poked, Evans opted to just reverse the Stormers penalty. Soon after Seabelo Senatla was yellow-carded for a high tackle on the Munster captain and sin-binned.

Munster profited from having the extra man as Diarmuid Barron scored off a rolling maul for the second time in the opening 20 minutes. Munster went 12-0 but were pinned back by Frans Malherbe and Ruhan Nel tries.

Second half scores from Shane Daly and Gavin Coombes were both converted by Ben Healy, whereas Manie Libbok missed a conversion attempt after a Steven Kitshoff score. That miss proved crucial as Munster would go on to win 26-24 and secure a playoff spot with the victory.

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