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23rd Apr 2018

Donnacha Ryan remark to Teddy Thomas after try antics were pure Munster

Patrick McCarry

Keith Earls insists that Munster would have beaten Racing 92 in the Champions Cup semi final had Donnacha Ryan been on their side.

Ryan was, instead, on the Racing side and the winning side in Bordeaux. Johann Van Graan’s men arrived to the game in top form but they were blown off the park in the opening 30 minutes and never truly recovered.

Ryan and Racing steamrolled Munster and headed on to a final date against Leinster, in Bilbao. The contest could have been closer, though, had Maxime Machenaud had not been switched on for Racing’s third try.

Teddy Thomas, having wrong-footed five Munster men with one step inside, cruised over the tryline and was expected to simply dot down for a 21-minute hat-trick when he turned and popped a pass to Machenaud. It was lucky for Racing, and Thomas, that Machenaud held on and helped himself to a try.

Ryan joined The Hard Yards, from Paris, and [from 42:00 below] revealed what he had told Thomas after that bizarre incident

Credit: BT Sport

Ryan was, of course, delighted Racing had powered into a 21-3 lead but he gave Thomas a reminder that was pure Munster, and that reminded him the game was far from won.

Asked what he was thinking after the third try was scored, Ryan commented:

“To be honest, I was thinking, ‘What the hell is Teddy Thomas doing firing the ball back to Machenaud under the posts?!’

“In my broken French, I said to him, ‘Don’t forget Castres’. That’s because he had made a mistake against Castres, away, and it ended up costing us.”

Earlier this season, with Racing and Castres level at 0-0, Thomas looked certain to score when, carrying the ball in one arm, he shelled an easy chance.

“He’s an incredible player, Teddy,” Ryan continued, “and he can create something out of nothing. Even when you see him in training it’s the same. He’s such an amazing talent, and extrovert and a happy-go-lucky guy.

“Even in the dressing room, the other day, he was going around on a skateboard and you’re like, ‘Take it easy!’ Somebody could have got injured.”

Ryan was delighted that Thomas could finish off scores during that Racing ‘purple patch’ before holding Munster out from scoring before half-time. The French side led 24-3 at the break before easing off the throttle and winning 27-22.

Following the game, Ryan was not the only Racing player to ask the France international why he had passed away a Champions Cup hat-trick.

“He was just having the craic,” joked Ryan.

We’re not sure if those Thomas antics would fly at Munster but, sure, Simon Zebo has proved he can mix flair and graft to brilliant effect.

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