Munster fell to a 15-6 loss to Saracens following an entertaining battle in the Heineken Champions Cup in Allianz Park this evening.
Johann van Graan’s men led at the break thanks to two JJ Hanrahan penalties but their superb defensive effort was finally thwarted in the 66th minute when Sean Maitland scored Saracens opening try before Mako Vunipola crossed minutes later.
However, the major talking point in the game occurred 10 minutes into the second half when Jamie George appeared to take offence with a Munster medic on the sideline and when Jack O’Donoghue stepped in to stop George, a major brawl broke out.
After five minutes, tensions calmed down and referee Pascal Gauzère awarded a penalty against Owen Farrell after he ran 10 metres to get involved.
Mid-game, broadcasters BT Sport went to Saracens’ defence and forwards coach Alex Sanderson for his thoughts on the game and when pressed, he revealed what he thought caused the reaction from George.
“I don’t want to point fingers but it was Munster’s fault”, laughed Sanderson.
“I think their doctor said something derogatory to Jamie George about his weight which didn’t go down too well so there was a couple of words exchanged there. Then the big boys came in in support.
“I don’t think it was anything too serious, aggression and excitement levels going over the top.”
Crucially, JJ Hanrahan missed the resulting penalty from the scuffle leading to Saracens period of dominance. Late in the game, Munster were handed an opportunity right in front of the posts but the squad opted for a kick to corner. Saracens managed to turn possession over in the maul leaving Munster without a losing bonus-point.
Munster remain in second place in Pool 4 but lie six points off leaders Racing 92. As attention now turns back to the PRO14, the province’s concerns will first lie with their lengthy injury list which consists of Peter O’Mahony, Tadhg Beirne, John Ryan and Andrew Conway.
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