Coaches laud "phenomenal" O'Connell

Date published: January 12 2014

Gloucester boss Nigel Davies and Munster equivalent Rob Penney praised lock Paul O'Connell after his Kingsholm performance.

Gloucester head coach Nigel Davies and Munster equivalent Rob Penney hailed lock Paul O'Connell after his Kingsholm showing on Saturday.

Davies labelled the lock “phenomenal” following his man of the match performance in the Irish side's 20-7 Heineken Cup win over Gloucester.

The result sees Munster top their Pool as they moved six points clear, assuring themselves a place the knockout stages with a round to spare.

“Paul O'Connell is phenomenal. There are certain characters in teams that have a huge influence and effect,” said the Cherry and Whites boss.

“It is not just his ability as a rugby player, it's how he galvanises the team, and his sheer presence is a huge factor for Munster.”

Davies' sentiments were echoed by Penney, who added: “Paul is just such an amazing character, and at this level of the game you wouldn't want anyone else out there, really, guarding your ship.”

Munster fly-half Ian Keatley also put in a solid effort for the visitors and received praise.

“We have got a lot of faith in Ian,” Penney said after Keatley's ten-point showing.

“He was tremendous today, probably the best game he has had in the red jumper. He deserves all the plaudits that I hope he gets.

“He showed mental and physical fortitude out there. He tackled like a Trojan, and he put us in some really good places on the park.”