Toulouse's Ramos came close to catastrophic blunder for the ages
By Rugby Onslaught

Toulouse’s Ramos came close to catastrophic blunder for the ages

Toulouse have an unfortunate history of fullbacks being slightly too casual when the ball is rolling towards the try line, and history came close to repeating itself at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Clement Poitrenaud was the player who was too cool for his own good in 2004, as Wasps’ Rob Howley pounced on the ball for the winner in the 79th minute in the Heineken Cup final as the fullback tried to usher the ball over the line.

Fast forward 18 years, and Thomas Ramos was almost doing the same against Munster in the Champions Cup quarter final. Of course, it was not the final, neither was it the final minute, but Ramos still showed that swashbuckling confidence that seems to come with the No15 shirt.

With Mike Haley chasing down a grubber kick on 36 minutes at the Aviva Stadium, Ramos looked as though he had it covered, but may have had to take the ball over the try line for a five metre scrum. Instead, he paused just that split second to let the ball roll over the line with Haley perilously close. It was one of those moments that would have aged his coach Ugo Mola by a few years.

The penalty shootout would not have helped Mola either, but fortunately for him, his three kickers, Antoine Dupont, Ramos and Romain Ntamack were as cool as ever, not missing a kick in the shootout as Toulouse came away with the win.

Munster head coach Johann van Graan discussed the shootout after the match: “Firstly, I’m incredibly proud. Today was what Munster Rugby is about.

“To lose it like that, that’s unfortunately sport. That’s the way the rules are. Somebody’s got to kick it over and somebody’s got to miss.

“If ever there’s a day to sum up Munster Rugby, it’s today. A community of 40,000 people travelling. Everybody associated with Munster Rugby will be incredibly proud of the 23 guys that stood up and fought today.”