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Gregor Townsend Hits Back - Says Munster Might Be Trying To Distract From Concussion Investigation

Gregor Townsend Hits Back - Says Munster Might Be Trying To Distract From Concussion Investigation
By Conor Neville

All week, voices from Munster have been condemning Glasgow for their cynical and dangerous approach to combating the threat of Conor Murray.

Now, Glasgow coach Gregor Townsend has retaliated and hinted that Munster may be trying to distract from the concussion investigation.

In the first half, both Jonny Gray and Josh Strauss aimed tackles Conor Murray's standing foot as he box-kicked from behind a ruck.

An angry Jerry Flannery said during an in-game interview that no attempt was being made to charge down the ball. He said he hoped Murray would escape without injury and that the Munster backroom staff had spoken to the referee about this tactic before the game.

Today, Ronan O'Gara - no longer formally connected to Munster - wrote in his Irish Examiner column the treatment of Murray was "atrociously dangerous."

Murray broke his silence later in the week, saying he was "properly pissed off" about Glasgow's "dangerous tactics". Murray said this is how cruciate ligament injuries occur and that he was lucky to avoid injury. Glasgow, he said, were the only team he had come across who had employed this tactic.

Today, at a press conference, Townsend responded to the charges. He concentrated on praising his players for putting pressure on the "excellent" Murray. He pointed out that Glasgow weren't penalised at all but did concede that they didn't get the timing right on one occasion.

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Most contentiously, he suggested that Munster might be fixating on Glasgow's tackling as a means of distracting people from the investigation into a possible breach of concussion management protocols.

Townsend's comments were tweeted out by BBC Scotland journalist Jamie Lyall.

Conor Murray's an excellent player - one of the best 9's in the game. We knew Munster had a very strong kicking game and we put pressure on that. Sometimes we didn't get it right, but the charge down we got in the last three minutes could have won us the game, so the pressure paid off in the end.

Rugby's a physical game and you've got to do things within the law. That involves tackling. We weren't penalised for anything last week and we've got to make sure we do that well, and sometimes you don't get your timing right in your tackles.

I've heard a few comments out of Munster this week, so obviously the pressure we put on them, they didn't enjoy. We put really good pressure on - there was one occasion where I think we didn't get the timing right, but all the others we put on legitimate pressure. The referee was there, he saw a couple of replays on the screen and said that's fine.

Maybe they have more of an issue or whatever - I know they were investigation for the concussion that week, so whether they want to talk about this and not talk about the other incident.

From our side, we'll just keep working hard at improving the times we don't get it right and work hard at making sure we do it right the next time.

Murray suffered a head injury late in the game and was allowed to play on. He lay motionless on the turf for a period after attempting to tackle Tim Swinson on the 65th minute. EPCR asked Munster to provide an account of their actions in allowing Murray to play on. The player himself insisted yesterday that he hadn't lost consciousness.

Read more: The Football Stadiums Which Dublin Could Have Today - But Which Were Never Built

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