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Penney: Absolutely nothing for O'Connell to answer for

‘Footy’s a dynamic game’, says the Kiwi preparing for the mother of all Heineken Cup tests.

Image: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

MUNSTER COACH ROB Penney will have welcomed yesterday’s decision of the Pro12 to take no further action against his returning lock, Paul O’Connell.

The last Lions captain was at the centre of controversy on Saturday when he kicked Leinster wing Dave Kearney in the head during Munster’s 22-16 defeat in Thomond Park.

Citing commissioner Eddie Walsh (from Connacht) reviewed the incident which left Kearney unconscious and found no reason for O’Connell to face the disciplinary board.

“It was just one of those incidents.” Penney told RTE’s Game On last night.

“Footy’s a dynamic game. From our perspective (O’Connell has) absolutely nothing to answer for.

“When you slow things down, look at it in detail they always look worse. You can (look at) numerous incidents, if you take them in isolation and slow them right down.

“This is just one of those where there’s nothing to really be concerned about.”

After a hectic week which witnessed Munster reach another Heineken Cup semi-final six days before losing narrowly to the eastern province, most of Penney’s front-line squad will be held in reserve for this Friday’s trip to face the Newport Gwent Dragons.

Neither Keith Earls nor Doug Howlett will be rushed back from shoulder injuries for that clash. Donncha O’Callaghan seems the biggest doubt for the Heineken Cup semi-final as the province say he will require “further examination” on a knee injury.

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Sean Farrell

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