Former Munster flank Alan Quinlan questioned where Danny Care saw diving in Harlequins’ visit to Thomond Park on Sunday.
After Munster’s 21-7 victory over Quins in the Heineken Champions Cup, the former England scrum half called out the hosts for diving on the pitch and ‘behaving like soccer players’ while on BBC’s Rugby Union Weekly podcast.
He also suggested that the assistant referees, who were both Irish, allowed all of the fifty-fifty calls to go the way of Munster.
Speaking on Friday’s OTB AM, Quinlan suggested that Care’s comments will only spur Munster on in their away fixture against Quins.
“You’ve got to be careful not to react to him publicly,” Quinlan said. “Definitely, internally, it is something you want to try and push back and rub back in their faces when you meet them again.
“I remember when we played Northampton back in 2009 or 10, we had a lot of verbals and they beat us over there.
“We got them back in Thomond Park and we tried to avenge it; we only won 12-9, barely. I remember we met them in the quarter-finals and beat them 45-9 or something like that.
“When you get into a situation like that you can rub it back in their faces.”
Were Munster diving?
Quinlan was surprised by the comments, as he could not see any instances of ‘diving’ from either set of players.
“I looked back at the game and I couldn’t see where Munster were diving and behaving like soccer players,” Quinlan said.
“It was a bit extreme, what [Care] was saying. Everybody could see what [Alex] Dombrandt did to Ben Healy and what Joe Marler did and he has picked up an injury.
“The Marler one didn’t look as impactful, but you could see him grimacing a bit after that, and he is a big fella himself.
“I think the comments were silly to say the least, because you kind of give the opposition some motivation.”
With all of the recent issues surrounding concussion and the potential effects that playing rugby can have on one’s health in the future, Quinlan was particularly surprised to hear Care’s attitude towards the late and dangerous hits.
“I was just a little bit surprised,” Quinlan said. “Ultimately Harlequins’ discipline was shocking really.
“They were two obvious late hits. Given all the conversations in the last week or two about the concussion situation… it was surprising that he came out saying that.”
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