Munster players Doug Howlett and Rua Tipoki have both been fined and
reprimanded by the Munster Branch on foot of an incident that occurred
during last Saturday’s HEC Final in Cardiff.
The incident took place mid-way through the second half when Tipoki
sidestepped a Toulouse tackler and made a break before passing the ball to
Howlett who would have scored a try had the pass not been adjudged forward
by part-time referee Nigel Owen.
«Both lads are well aware that Munster Rugby does not tolerate any of our
backs attempting to play running rugby,» explained a visibly annoyed Munster
PRO Pat Geraghty. «Earlier this season, Brian Carney was excluded from our
HEC Squad for trying something similar and it is completely unacceptable for
highly paid recruits from the Southern Hemisphere to seek to disrupt the balance
of the team by attempting to play such an alien brand of rugby.»
«From an early age, every aspiring Munster back is coached to run straight into the
nearest opposing player before going to ground and setting the ball back so that the
forwards can take over. That is the Munster way — known and admired throughout the
world — and we’re not going to allow a pair of glory-hunting blow-ins to damage our brand and our image.»
«Munster Rugby would like to apologise to the many supporters who were
shocked or offended by this shameful incident,» added Mr. Geraghty «I have already been in
touch with Toyota and have assured them that this aberration will not happen again.
«Our fans can rest assured that Doug and Rua have been warned that any repetition of this
unacceptable behaviour will have very serious consequences for both of them.»