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Donal Lenihan Offers A Left-Field Solution To Munster's Kicking Woes

Donal Lenihan Offers A Left-Field Solution To Munster's Kicking Woes
Balls Team
By Balls Team
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Munster longest winter continued last weekend with another loss to Leicester at Welford Road.

They forsook the ironic cheers this weekend, no doubt shamed by Trevor Hogan's fire and brimstone fury and the club's Aretha Franklin inspired missive concerning 'respect'.

Still, social media was awash with attacks on Anthony Foley and the scapegoat in chief Ian Keatley.

Donal Lenihan is blunt in his Examiner column. Keatley's 'inconsistent' kicking has become a 'thorn in Munster's side'. They're throwing away points as a result.

While we tentatively suggested a number of alternative 10s Munster could look to draft in, Lenihan proffered a left-field, in-house solution.

Munster need to broaden their options on the kicking front and may well have the answer under their nose. Conor Murray has the makings of an excellent place kicker and could take pressure off Keatley.

He has a bit of a track record here, admittedly at AIL level, but has the temperament to grow into the role. I remember a conversation with Neil Jenkins on the 2013 Lions tour and, as the Lions kicking coach, he saw a huge future for Murray — who spent a bit of time practising with the main kickers on that tour — if he choose to pursue it.

Praise from Neil Jenkins, one of the finest goal-kickers of all time, would make anyone sit up and pay attention.

*Quick story

Conor Murray gave a kicking masterclass on Grand Canal Dock on the Friday after Ireland beat France in the Six Nations.


The goalposts were stood on a float in the water and a kicking tee was placed on the edge of the harbour. A boat circled around the harbour collecting the balls that ended up in the water.


A host of reporters from various news and sports media organisations were invited to have a go. The winner of the kicking competition would win tickets to the Ireland-England game. This staffer was sent out for Balls.ie.

Neutral observers were of the view that he gave an exhibition of kicking. He was one of just two entrants to kick three from three and went into a drop-goal playoff with his opponent, a reporter for the Daily Mail.


Sadly he lost this head to head.

In the aftermath, Murray serving as mentor to the kickers, starting attempting drop goals himself. The crowd that were gathered on the harbour were about to drift away but paused awhile to watch Murray strut his stuff.

The first one slid wide. He grimaced and picked up another ball. It looked good but eventually tailed off. Furrowing his brow some more, he tried another one. The exact same thing happened.


By this stage, there were ripples of laughter in the crowd. When Murray missed for a fourth time, the laughter grew considerably louder. He continued missing.

By the time he readied himself for his sixth attempt , the crowd were poised and waiting. To their delight, the shot tailed wide and they let out jubilant, ironic roar.

Murray threw his hat at it.


This staffer was positioned near the kicking tee. Restless and feeling he had unfinished business after his earlier sliced drop goal attempt, he gestured for the organisers to throw him a ball.

He steadied himself and hit a lovely drop. It sailed high over the bar. If the post contained a black spot, it would have gone straight over it. The crowd roared with delight.

Read more: German International Misses Penalty Against Balls.ie Writer

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