Freddie Burns pays the ultimate price for cringey showboating
"To all the youngsters out there, that's not what you do."
Freddie Burns looked to have sealed a crucial Champions Cup victory for Bath at The Recreation Ground, until hubris intervened.
The Bath fullback ran a fine line to break through the Toulouse defence, late in their European Cup clash, and looked set to dot down under the posts. As he was on kicking duty, a successful conversion would turn a 22-20 deficit into a 27-22 win.
Burns had scored a first half try and had kicked 10 more points. Despite missing a couple of other penalty attempts, it looked as though the England international would be the hero.
Perhaps that is what was going through his mind, as he broke a desperate Toulouse tackle and cruised towards the posts. Bath is Burns' hometown club and he not only sent out a kiss to the fans, he thumped the crest on his chest.
All that was left to do was score but Maxime Medard had other ideas.
As Burns sauntered in by the posts - ball held in just one hand - the French winger zeroed in and tapped the ball free. It was a nightmare moment for the Bath 15.
Five minutes to go...
Chance to win the game...
"Oh he's dropped it!"
A brutal moment for Bath star Freddie Burns 😣 pic.twitter.com/K7S578Rdwx
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) October 13, 2018
The error, coming so soon after Burns had missed a penalty on the Toulouse 22 caused widespread shock.
Former Wallabies international Matt Giteau was not the only one struggling to comprehend what he had just witnessed.
— Matt Giteau 🇦🇺 (@giteau_rugby) October 13, 2018
Bath coach Todd Blackadder immediately subbed Burns and, minutes later, the game was over.
In the Virgin Media studios, former Munster and Ireland outhalf Ronan O'Gara said:
"There's no point in telling him what he has done wrong. There is no point in (fellow pundit) Shane Jennings telling him... He knows.
"But, to all the youngsters out there, that's not what you do."
Jennings, who won European Cups with Leicester and Leinster, was not so forgiving. "I don't have much sympathy at all," he said. "Don't be giving it the big one. It's unforgivable."