Mike Haley's actions after final Leinster try criticised
"I don't know what he was thinking."
Mike Haley has done well for Munster, on his debut season, but he ended it with a questionable decision.
In the closing stages of Munster's Guinness PRO14 semi-final loss to Leinster, at The RDS, James Lowe was presented with a one-on-one.
The Kiwi winger had just Haley to beat and he stepped the former Sale Sharks fullback on the outside to score in the corner.
— eir Sport (@eirSport) May 18, 2019
Leinster were already guaranteed the victory but that score was the exclamation point on a tough afternoon, and another semi final loss, for Munster.
Former Ireland head coach Eddie O'Sullivan called the defensive lapse "schoolboy stuff" and remarked that Haley was beaten far too easily.
What was worse, though, for both O'Sullivan and former Munster star Donncha O'Callaghan, was Haley's actions as Johnny Sexton was lining up the final conversion.
Haley, no doubt gutted at the late score and the result, started jogging towards the stands before Sexton even connected with his kick. In the post-match discussion on eir Sport, host Tommy Bowe said, "We saw, even, the likes of Mile Haley walking off before the (final) kick. It's things like that."
"Absolutely," O'Callaghan responded. "They're sloppy little moments that you wouldn't expect from an Under 8."
O'Callaghan was referring, in part, to Haley falling off the tackle.
O'Sullivan remarked, "Haley should've been the guy trying to block the conversion. Instead, he was half-way to the changing room before the game was over. I couldn't get my head around it... I don't know what he was thinking."
O'Sullivan felt that Munster, who lost last season's semi final to Leinster at the same stage, went out 'on a whimper'.
There is certainly work to be done ahead of the new season, with coaching and player recruitment key for Munster's powers-that-be.