Wednesday Apr 25, 2018 Conor Murray floors Virimi Vakatawa with one "punch"

Conor Murray floors Virimi Vakatawa with one
19
Comments

Things got a little heated for Conor Murray during Sunday’s Semi-final Champions Cup matchup between Munster and hosts Racing 92, with the scrum-half having successive altercations with both Marc Andreu and Virimi Vakatawa. 

Just after the start of the second half, both Murray and Andreu scrambled after a loose ball into touch. The winger had no intention of losing the ball and dived to retrieve it, taking Murray’s knees out in the process. He followed that up by wrapping Murray, only to be lifted and dumped to the gound.

Centre Virimi Vakatawa was there at just that moment and so also decided to get involved. In a situation that surely hasn’t made him look very professional, he then collapsed in a heap, and holding his face, after what can be best described as a shove from Murray.

This is the same Virimi Vakatawa who has put people into hospital after running them over. 

And just like that, within the span of 10 seconds, Conor Murray had two Racing players writhing on the ground in apparent shock and pain. 

Murray did, however, concede the penalty for foul play and referee JP Doyle was happy to let it go from there. Perhaps he was lucky to escape without more.

Maxime Machenaud also made Munster pay for the loss in composure with a successful penalty kick.

Teddy Thomas looked sharp in the 27-22 win, scoring two tries, then spurning a hat-trick by handing the ball to Machenaud after he had already easily crossed the line.

Racing will take on Leinster in the Champions Cup final.  

Credit: Top Rugby/Getty Images

19 Comments

  •  drg
    drg

    I don't think if Munster were wearing their away kit and Racing were wearing someone elses kit, it would make much difference really. I mean, I think the comment section would certainly be questioning who made the decision for the kit change, but all in all I think the reaction to a silly dive would probably be the same..

    Reply
  •  rdump0
    rdump0

    somehow I have the impression the comments would not be the same if the blue had been playing in red and the red in blue...

    Reply
  •  the_osprey
    the_osprey

    Racing came out of this with a penalty. Well done them. Only Murray came out of this looking like a man. Pathetic.

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter

    It does raise the issue of foul play that occurs in a game that isn't during a period of play. Had he tackled someone like that during play he would have got at least a yellow. I may be remembering this incorrectly but I vaguely recall an England game where a player (Danny Care?) was tackled illegally, either high or without wrapping the arms, but the referee had already called play back for an infringement. The illegal tackle wasn't punished. I'm not saying this is right or wrong, I'm still not sure myself, it's just an interesting discussion point imo.

    Reply
  •  weejockmcplop
    weejockmcplop

    Ignoring the play acting, which has no place in rugby BTW, Conor needs to calm down. He is getting a reputation, if he has not got it already, of being a hothead. In this case he should have seen Red for two offences, both dumb. Taking a player through the horizontal is an offence and it doesn't matter that this was off field. He at least doesn't drop the player, to then strike a player in the face, again albeit with an open hand, again is an offence.

    Reply
  •  moo
    moo

    Andrew Brace told off Richard Hibbard. But he did actually get a smack in the spuds!

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Regardless, why would you hit the deck?

    Reply
  • A bloody finger in the eye from Murray imo. Much ado about nothing once again.

    Reply
  •  andinov
    andinov

    If JPD was quick enough he should have suggested Vakatawa go off for a HIA if Vakatawa thought it was that bad!

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    No worries. Can you think of any other referees that have had a word, or has it just been Owens? From my knowledge, he seems to be the only one that's taken it on board.

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter

    Vakatawa's theatrical fall is embarrassing but I think Murray was a bit lucky it was a penalty only, he does strike Vakatawa in the face with his arm even if it wasn't much of a blow, I wouldn't have argued with a yellow card either. Saying that, I thought JPD dealt with it well and I was glad everyone involved stayed on the pitch.

    Reply
  •  jimmy23
    jimmy23

    I expect the next time we see Vakatawa he'll have the "Thousand-yard stare".

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    #PrayforVakatawa

    Reply
  •  moo
    moo

    Ah, yes. You've mentioned the Owens talking-tos above already. My bad.

    Reply
  •  moo
    moo

    Slightly unfair - the referees did have a couple of stern words in matches just after the 'promise' was made so they could say they've paid lip service and then forget about it.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I don't care what Murray or any player did beforehand or even afterwards. Diving is pathetic regardless of team/nationality/position, it's a self induced event, brought on by the drive to make the dangerous game safe and I can see why players do it - but it's low and it's even lower that referees rarely take a stance on it.. I believe Nigel Owens is the only referee to have drawn attention to a couple incidents and he has only ever issued a verbal chastising... World rugby hasn't taken any opportunities after their 'promise' to punish it, and as said before, cleaning up the game has directly lead to diving.

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes

    A lot of things for not much thing. JP Doyle did well to minimize the incident and just move on with a penalty.

    Reply
  •  joeythelemur
    joeythelemur

    Embarrassing

    Reply
  •  canafrikaaner
    canafrikaaner

    wtf was that

    Reply

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Conor Murray floors Virimi Vakatawa with one "punch" | RugbyDump