Shane Horgan has criticised Conor Murray after the British and Irish Lions captain made some questionable decisions during the loss to South Africa ‘A’.
The Lions had a golden opportunity to score a try in the dying minutes of the first half, after both Faf de Klerk and Marco van Staden were sent to the sin bin, leaving the South Africans with just 13 men on the pitch.
With a two-man advantage, the most prudent decision would have been for the Lions to call for a scrum, who were metres out from the opposition try line, in an effort to create space for the backs out wide.
Instead, the Lions chose to go with a tap and go on multiple occasions, and after countless carries into the South African forward pack, the tourists were held up over the line and the half was brought to an end.
Former Ireland and Lions winger Shane Horgan was speaking to Virgin Media about the decision to opt against going from a scrum and criticised Murray for not knowing better.
“He made some poor decisions, now we don’t know if they came down from Gatland.
“I think he’ll be glad to give it back (to Alun Wyn Jones).
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) July 15, 2021
‘Those couple of decisions were very poor from him.’
“I think he made some poor decisions,” Horgan said.
“Now we don’t know if they’ve come down from on high with Gatland but especially in the period where South Africa ‘A’ were down to 14 men, then 13 men, the decision to go for tap and go penalties on the goal line seemed ludicrous.
“You take the scrum in that circumstance. You either force the opposition to load into the back row and then you move the ball onto the backs. Or you reduce the back row, move back inside and it should be a simple try.
“Those couple of decisions either side of half time were poor from him.”
Alan Quinlan on Conor Murray handing back the captaincy.
While Murray was named as Lions tour captain after Alun Wyn Jones’ withdrawal due to a shoulder dislocation, the Welshman looks set to reprise he role now he has returned to the squad.
Former Ireland international Alan Quinlan was also speaking on Virgin Media about Murray’s performance as captain and stated his belief that the Munster man will be glad to see Jones back as captain.
“I think he will be glad to give [the captaincy] back,” Quinlan commented.
“When you’re not use to it and you’re propelled into something like this, of course he had loads of experience, but now he can just concentrate on his own game and makes sure he starts that first test.
“I think if Alun Wyn Jones is going back out there they’re going to try to get him back in for that first test as well. He has great leadership qualities, been there done that.”