All in the Scrum: Toulon’s Mathieu Bastareaud honest in defeat

Munster old boys Pau-er to Stade Francais win while Aviva pays tribute to Heaslip

Mathieu Bastareaud gave an honest assessment of Toulon’s defeat to Munster. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Mathieu Bastareaud gave an honest assessment of Toulon’s defeat to Munster. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

 

Bastareaud says blame lies with Toulon

Mathieu Bastareaud gave a very honest assessment in the wake of Toulon’s 20-19 defeat to Munster in the Champions Cup quarter-final at Thomond Park, pointing out that the French club were architects of their own downfall to an extent in not converting early dominance into points.

“Unfortunately, every time we have been to their [22], we have not scored enough, especially during the first 15 minutes. We should have scored a try on this period. The result is that in the end, the team fails by one point. It’s up to us to be more ruthless.”

The French international centre, who took over the captaincy of Toulon this season, continued: “We are frustrated and upset too. We can only blame ourselves. We had the chance to win the match but we make mistakes that cost the win. Everyone is sad because it was a goal. We wanted to do something beautiful.

“There is a lot of frustration because the group works well during the week but as soon as there is an important match, instead of remaining calm, the team makes mistakes, fails to follow the thread of his game. You have to keep a cool head, stop panicking and have more control over our rugby.”

Munster old boys Pau-er to win

Munster players will have noted the achievement of three of their former team-mates who helped Pau to a 35-32 Challenge Cup quarter-final win over Stade Francais at the weekend.

Secondrow Dave Foley and flanker Seán Dougall started for Pau while a third Munster man Paddy Butler came on as a replacement at Stade du Hameau. Then there is former Dolphin and Munster number eight James Coughlan, who is in charge of the academy at the French club, and the New Zealander and head coach, Simon Mannix, who spent two years as backs’ coach at Munster from 2012 to 2014.

By the numbers - 229

Number of appearances that Jamie Heaslip made for Leinster. The former Ireland and Lions number eight received a presentation ahead of the Saracens match for his outstanding career.

Jamie Heaslip on the Aviva pitch ahead of Leinster’s win over Saracens. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho
Jamie Heaslip on the Aviva pitch ahead of Leinster’s win over Saracens. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Quote of the week

“That try crucified us” - Toulon coach Fabien Gathie’s words to describe Andrew Conway’s wonderful individual try that won the Champions Cup quarter-final for Munster.

University face-off to count double

The annual rugby colours match between Dublin University and UCD takes place at 7.30pm on Thursday in College Park, a game that will double up as it will also count as an Ulster Bank League Division 1A clash. However, this year the two universities have extended the rugby rivalry into a week of events that includes a tag rugby blitz in College Park on Wednesday (3pm-5.30pm) where eight teams from each university will take part.

It will serve as a precursor to the Women’s Colours match that takes place in College Park too on Wednesday night for the Kay Bowen Trophy, named after Trinity’s popular rugby administrator. That match – kicks-off at 7.30pm.

Ryan can’t keep away from Munster

Fate, karma, call it what you will but for Donnacha Ryan the Champions Cup semi-final ensure that he will face Munster for a third time in this season’s tournament having left them to join Racing 92 last summer. Ryan spent 13 seasons with the Irish province, winning a Heineken Cup in 2008, and now finds himself looking to deny Munster the chance for a third European crown. Racing and Munster have one win apiece so far this season, so it’s beautifully set-up for the clash in Bordeaux in a fortnight.

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