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Monday, January 22, 2007
FORMER Irish rugby international Trevor Brennan was at the centre of a growing storm last night after a violent clash with an Ulster fan during yesterday’s Heineken Cup clash between his Toulouse side and Ulster.
The Dubliner allegedly struck an Ulster supporter as he warmed up along the touchline early in the second half.
Minutes later, soon after coming on as a replacement, he was sent to the sin-bin for a punching incident with Ulster’s Justin Harrison.
The incidents at the French side’s stadium will be reviewed and both clubs contacted, tournament organisers European Rugby Cup said last night.
Ulster fans claimed they had only been harmlessly slagging Brennan’s Toulouse pub, but there were also claims of sectarian taunts directed at the Dublin man.
One local fan referred on the Toulouse website to the "copious insults" Brennan was subjected to, while another suggested alcohol had something to do with the incident.
Ulster Branch officials are to lodge a complaint with the organisers about the on-pitch controversy, with coach Mark McCall saying they would be citing the 33-year-old for allegedly striking Harrison. Both men were yellow-carded in the 50th minute but McCall insisted the Irishman should have been shown red.
Ulster lost the game 28-13.
At Thomond Park on Saturday, meanwhile, nobody died and Munster’s dreams of retaining their European title remained intact. But the Limerick ground had the distinct air of a funeral as the Red Army bade farewell to the famous rugby fortress before the builders move in.
More painfully, Declan Kidney’s side also had to wave goodbye to the province’s 25-match unbeaten home record in the Heineken Cup as Leicester inflicted a deserved 13-6 defeat on Munster.
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern must have wondered why he passed up the chance to watch the Dubs triumph over Wicklow to see the unscripted outcome to Thomond Park’s version of the Last Stand.
Munster face a quarter-final trip to Welsh side Llanelli Scarlets on the weekend beginning March 30, while Leinster can keep hopes of a rematch and revenge for last year’s semi-final defeat to Munster alive if they win away to Wasps.
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