Van Graan counts the cost of 'painful' loss
POST-MATCH REACTION: Munster coach Johann Van Graan admitted Racing 92’s late sucker punch was a bitter pill to swallow, as his team’s Champions Cup hopes were all but ended.
Wing Teddy Thomas scored twice as Racing 92 beat Munster 39-22 on Sunday, to secure a place in the quarterfinals.
Racing is guaranteed a spot in the last eight, as they lead Pool Four on 22 points – with title-holders Saracens eight points behind, ahead of hosting the French side next Sunday.
Munster, who are third in the group and trail Sarries by three points, must beat the Ospreys while hoping results elsewhere next weekend go their way.
Van Graan said the game was lost in the final 10 minutes, as an impressive Racing backline crossed three times.
“It really hurts,” Van Graan said.
“It’s out of our hands now.
“Racing go to Saracens and have to win and we have to beat Ospreys to give ourselves a chance.
“It’s a tough one to take.
“We were over their try line on 60 twice, but we only got three points and they got the seven pointers.
“We were in that game for 71 minutes.
“There was a magic moment from Thomas on 72 minutes, which meant we fell behind and there were two magic tries there at the end.
“The scoreline is not reflective, but that’s rugby and you’ve got to hand it to Racing.
“They finished off the game really well, but I’m proud of our guys. They literally gave it all they’ve got and the last few minutes took it away from us.”
Van Graan added he had no regrets over Munster kicking a penalty rather than opting for a scrum and a possible try after they were held up over the line in the second half.
“It was a tight game and we were over the line twice before that,” he said.
“You take the opportunities which are presented to you and that penalty took us in front. We made a decision on field and it was a good one to take.
“It’s tough to lose that way but rugby games are 80 minutes. They were just magical at the end.”
Sources: Press Association & Agence France-Presse
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