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Dublin: 2 °C Wednesday 16 January, 2019
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'We stayed within the values of rugby': Van Graan irked by missed chances and calls in Castres

The South African saw his side create enough opportunities to win in the south of France, but they were unable to force their way into a second half lead.

Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Sean Farrell reports from Stade Pierre Fabre

MUNSTER HEAD COACH Johann van Graan cut a frustrated figure in the depths of Castres’ Stade Pierre Fabre, having watched his side lose 13-12 to the reigning French champions.

The match-turning try, by Faea Fa’anunu, arrived with a bad-tempered post-script as Peter O’Mahony sought out referee Wayne Barnes to complain that openside Chris Cloete had suffered contact around the eye.

The influential South African sustained further off the ball treatment before the first-half was out and Sam Arnold appeared extremely agitated in the second period amidst incessant foul play.

Barnes’ officiating and the non-calls made were not touched on by Van Graan until he was pressed, but he couldn’t help a wry thought of a meeting with referee boss Joel Jutge after the hosts were given the benefit of the doubt.

“The values of rugby are pretty important,” said the young South African coach, after tasting his third loss in European competition.

CJ Stander and Dave Kilcoyne celebrate winning a penalty Kilcoyne leads the celebrations as Munster win a scrum penalty. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“We got spoken to about the values of rugby in the week and I thought we stayed within the values of rugby tonight. We just hope that due process will be followed.”

Van Graan may have further complaints at the non-sanction of Benjamin Urdapilleta — whose feet-first slide tackle forced Andrew Conway to knock on rather than cleanly collect his own kick to score – and a breakdown that often descended into a free-for-all.

However, Castres did see two yellow cards during the contest and ultimately the head coach pointed to missed opportunities – off the tee and in phaseplay – as the decisive factor in the one-point loss.

“We’ve got to be more clinical. We certainly created enough opportunities tonight,” he said with a nod to Conway’s close-run-thing and Conor Murray’s break on advantage late in the first half.

“We just weren’t good enough to win away.  If you don’t convert all the opportunities into points then you won’t win.”

Murray Kinsella, Gavan Casey and Eddie O’Sullivan preview another big weekend of Heineken Cup action and dissect the week’s main talking points.


Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud

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Sean Farrell

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