Peter O'Mahony sparks melee after angry reaction to Zebre goading
MUNSTER 21-5 ZEBRE
Munster got their first win of the season, and both Peter O'Mahony and Tadhg Beirne performed admirably, but there were few other highlights on an outing at Musgrave Park that flattered to deceive.
Munster had never previously started a season with two league defeats, so they were determined to get one over a spirited yet limited Zebre side.
It looked as though they would run up a big score after going 21-0 up after only 25 minutes, with Niall Scannel [twice] and Keynan Knox getting over for scores. Jack O'Donoghue thought he had scored, too, but the TMO showed he had lost control as he dived over the tryline.
O'Mahony was eager to keep some pace in the United Rugby Championship fixture, but lengthy TMO reviews and water breaks saw the first half and second half run over 50 minutes apiece. The television mics picked up the Munster captain proclaiming, "Go, go, go!" as the match officials paused play for the umpteenth time.
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) October 1, 2022
Peter O'Mahony reacts to sarcastic Zebre goading
With the Zebre lineout imploding and Peter O'Mahony dialled in, around the breakdown, the Munster captain had four turnovers in the game, while Tadhg Beirne contributed another two.
Munster would have hoped to kick on, in the second half, but the only score of a dour second period came from the Italians.
In the closing stages, as he tried to put a teammate away for a try-scoring tilt, O'Mahony fumbled the ball under pressure. Zebre winger Jacopo Trulla, who had forced the error, gave O'Mahony a goading pat on the arse, and sparked an angry reaction that saw several players from both sides get involved.
In a post-match interview with RTE that was short and sweet, Peter O'Mahony cut a frustrated figure. He was pleased with getting the win, but not much else. He commented:
"The win was paramount for us, tonight... certainly disappointed with some of our accuracy, in regards to our attack. Some of our breakdown work was sloppy but, overall, I'm happy... This [Zebre] team are getting better, each season."
There was a notable positive for the home fans as 18-year-old back Ruadhan Quinn came on for his competitive Munster debut in the second half, setting a new record for the province. The teenager looked lively in his 15-minute cameo off the bench.