'I have no sympathy for him' - O'Gara and Jennings on Freddie Burns howler 1 year ago

'I have no sympathy for him' - O'Gara and Jennings on Freddie Burns howler

Former Leinster captain Shane Jennings has said that he has no sympathy for Bath fly-half Freddie Burns after he squandered a late chance to score a match winning try for the Premiership side against Toulouse on Saturday.

Bath were trailing Toulouse 22-20 in the final five minutes of their Champions Cup opener at the Rec when Burns sliced through the defence to cross the line for what should have been a routine try.

The England international began to blow kisses and bang his chest as he prepared to ground the ball in the in-goal area before Toulouse winger Maxime Medard raced in behind him to knock the ball loose and ultimately seal the win for the visitors.

Jennings, who won three European Cups with Leinster, said that he had no sympathy for Burns and that he was in complete control of the situation.

"I don't have much sympathy for him at all," said Jennings on Virgin Media Sport.

"He did it, he's made a mistake, he's trying to rectify it. He ran an unbelievable line to get into the position; just put the ball down. You've done yourself justice, get your team back to where they want to be. Don't be giving it this one [bangs chest]. Honestly, people go that's unfortunate, he was in control of that situation. He could have put the ball down, try and they would have won the game. That's terrible."

O'Gara added that Burns will know that he's made a vital error but that it's important for him to front up and never put himself in that sort of position again.

"It's very unfortunate for a player," said O'Gara.

"He's not a young player. He's got plenty of experience at this stage. Anyone can miss a kick at goal but to have what happened to him trying to place a ball down... for all the youngsters out there that is not what you do and I think that's the key message out of it.

"There's no point. He knows he's made a huge error. I don't have to tell him that. Shane doesn't have to tell him that. I think he needs to learn from this because as bad an error, and as serious as an error as it is, comes to that point in his career now where he needs to front up and never put himself in a position to do that again."

Bath head coach Todd Blackadder said that he thinks that Burns did not mean to make that mistake but that he was pleased with the effort his side made after Burns had missed a routine shot at goal minutes earlier.

"You could see that it hurt him and you could see that it's obviously affected him really badly but he'll be hurting just like everyone else. It's probably the time we need to rally around him. He didn't mean to make that mistake, I'm sure it's a mistake he'll never make again, but I was just pleased with the effort. Especially when he missed the kick with just how hard we rallied to put ourselves in a position where we could have won it."