Burns says sorry after error proves costly to Bath
Bath’s Freddie Burns apologised to his team-mates and supporters last night after an extraordinary error when he cost his side victory in the Champions Cup match against Toulouse when, after crossing the line and celebrating the match-winning try he was about to score, he had the ball knocked from his hand.
With his side trailing by two points, the full-back looked to have won the match in dramatic fashion after breaking through the Toulouse defence in the 78th minute, moments after he had missed a penalty from in front of the posts. As he ran behind the posts, he slowed, held the ball in one hand and blew a kiss, which allowed France wing Maxime Medard – who later paid tribute to Burns as “a great guy” – to pounce and dislodge the ball.
Burns, who was immediately substituted, tweeted: “Love this sport for the highs and the lows. Today was an ultimate low and a mistake I’ll learn from. I’ll continue to give my best as I always do. Lastly just apologies to the boys and the supporters for the mistake. I’ll bounce back … thanks for the support.”
Bath captain Rhys Priestland refused to blame Burns for the 22-20 defeat at the Rec, but said that he would call for an end to premature celebrations.
“I just can’t believe we do celebrate before we put the ball down. I honestly don’t know what boys think they are going to gain by doing it. We can’t do that again this season. Freddie has put his hand up. There are bigger issues in that game than the one dropped ball over the line.”
Bath’s defeat was the start of another immensely disappointing day for the Gallagher Premiership clubs in Europe’s top competition. After Wasps were thrashed at Leinster on Friday night there was another big victory for an Irish province over an English giant, with Ulster beating Leicester 24-10. Exeter did avoid defeat, drawing 10-10 with Munster.