‘Tragicomedy’ - French media reaction to Munster win
Video referring comes in for criticism while Trinh-Duc is no Johnny Sexton
Munster’s Conor Murray before being awarded a try at Thomond Park. Photograph: PA
A wasted opportunity and three individual errors were the French reasoning behind Munster’s dramatic one-point win over Toulon in Saturday’s Champions Cup quarter-final at Thomond Park.
The reaction from L’Equipe reflected that of the Toulon players in their post-match interviews: regret and frustration.
The publication also took exception at the lenth of time it took officials to come to a decision on Conor Murray’s try.
“Five minutes: this is the time that video refereeing lasted – a record,” wrote Richard Escot. He went on to criticise Isa, Bastareaud and Escande for appearing dazed and failing to do enough to stop Murray.
In the same publication Renaud Bourel and Dominique Issartel also criticised the video assisted referring in an article headlined “tragicomedy”. But they conceded “We can only blame ourselves... we made mistakes that cost us.”
While Midi Olympique’s Nicolas Zanardi said the players seemed to have forgotten a rule they would have learned as youngsters in school: play the whistle.
He was also not best pleased with François Trinh-Duc. “In the 75th minute, his poorly adjusted clearance did not find the touch, but the arms of Conway.”
La Depeche were critical of the French outhalf for another reason – he’s not Johnny Sexton.
“With five minutes to get the winning penalty... Trinh-Duc did not want to try the same drop as Sexton against the Blues in the opening match of the tournament [Six Nations].”
Le Parisien meanwhile focused on another controversial decision where the match officials took no action against Simon Zebo early on for clearing the ball with one hand – something the writer suggested should have earned the Ireland player a yellow card.
Julien Plazanet’s description in Midi Olympique did a fine job of grasping the overall frustration of almost beating Munster in Thomond Park. Almost.
“In these matches of very high intensity the slightest mistake is paid in cash, especially on this pitch.”