Officials to probe '30-man brawl' in Munster's loss to Saracens

CHAMPIONS Cup organisers EPRC has launched an investigation into the sideline incidents in the second half of Munster's Round 4 clash with champions Saracens at Allianz Park.

Officials to probe '30-man brawl' in Munster's loss to Saracens

CHAMPIONS Cup organisers EPRC has launched an investigation into the sideline incidents in the second half of Munster's Round 4 clash with champions Saracens at Allianz Park.

Munster's team doctor Jamie Kearns apologised afterwards for his part to Saracens hooker Jamie George and their director of rugby Mark McCall. The Munster head of medical was at the side of the pitch when he drew the ire of George, who had just angrily kicked a ball into the back of Munster lock Billy Holland’s legs.

An insult from the medic towards George, believed to have been referring to the player’s weight, diverted the Saracens man towards the source and their exchange quickly escalated into a scrap between both teams that saw punches exchanged and a group of players collapsing over pitchside padding onto the perimeter athletics track.

EPRC on Sunday said it will now probe the incident and will seek the views both clubs and the match officials. No further comment would be made until the investigation has been completed.

After the game, won 15-6 by the hosts, Saracens quickly adopted the moral high ground with defence coach Alex Sanderson telling BT Sport about the insulting language from the Munster staff member with McCall doubling down at his post-match press conference, suggesting his club would consider taking further action.

“We need to decide what we're going to do before I start speaking about that,” McCall said. “From what I know, something pretty bad was said at Jamie (George). He wouldn't have reacted the way he reacted otherwise. We'll take our time to decide whether we do anything.

“I don't think what was said to Jamie was good at all. We'll see. If a doctor....we just have to decide....because it started a 30-man brawl. Owen Farrell got penalised for running into the melee but from what I saw 29 other people ran into it.

“It was a strange penalty to give and it was instigated by a member of their staff who said something horrible to one of our players. We'll decide what happens next.”

Asked about the issue of pitchside staff interacting with players in such a manner, McCall said: “Clearly (that) shouldn't happen, we all know that.”

Of the alleged insult itself, he added: “I don't want to talk about it.”

Munster head coach Johann van Graan was also tight-lipped about the incident, though not the outcome, a penalty missed by JJ Hanrahan.

“I don't know what happened here, there were a lot of people involved which is never nice to see and we missed the penalty, the score was 6-3 at that stage.

"Had we gone to 9-3 it might have given momentum to our side, so we missed that penalty and that's what I said earlier in the week - to come and win here, only one side has managed it (in Europe), you need to be at your utmost best and take all of your opportunities and unfortunately we left one or two opportunities out there."

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