Friday 31 July 2015

Zebo finds the 'frustrating' Munster loss difficult to stomach

Published 27/04/2014 | 19:52

Stand up and fight they did, but Munster failed to secure another spot in the Heineken Cup final after losing out to a tough and mighty Toulon in Marseille.

Rob Penney’s brave side battled against Jonny Wilkinson and his comrades from start to finish of the 2014 semi-final held at the half-built Stade Velodrome.

But unfortunately it was not their day and the Irish rugby team will fly back to Shannon tonight tired and deflated.

A win would’ve secured them a chance to compete for European glory once more and a potential third title, however it was not to be and the red army was left singing without a successful score line, showing 24-16 to the opposition.

A total of 37,043 people turned out at the French stadium, basking in sunshine for the afternoon as the sporting event unfolded.

Munster rugby only had 8,000 supporters in their camp, but we made ourselves heard with loud choruses of The Fields of Athenry as the boys tried and tried again to break down the Toulon defense.

Simon Zebo, Munster, goes over to score his side's first try despite the tackle of Drew Mitchell, Toulon. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy
Simon Zebo, Munster, goes over to score his side's first try despite the tackle of Drew Mitchell, Toulon. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy
Munster captain Damien Varley leads his team off the field after defeat to Toulon. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France
A dejected Keith Earls, Munster, at the final whistle. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy
JJ Hanrahan, Munster, is tackled by Mathieu Bastareaud, left, and Jonny Wilkinson, Toulon. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy
Dejected Munster players JJ Hanrahan, left, and Keith Earls at the final whistle. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy
A dejected Donncha O'Callaghan, Munster, at the final whistle. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy
Dejected Munster players Ian Keatley and James Downey, right, following their side's defeat. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy
A Munster supporter during the closing stages of the game. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy
Munster supporter Trevor Ryan, from Shannon, Co. Clare, following his side's defeat. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy
A Munster supporter during the closing stages of the game. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy
Munster captain Damien Varley leads his team off the field after defeat to Toulon. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene
A dejected Donncha O'Callaghan, Munster, following his side's defeat. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy
Damien Varley leads his Munster team-mates from the field following their side's defeat. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy
Munster's Keith Earls, left, and Felix Jones, leave the pitch after defeat to Toulon. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene
Munster's Paul O'Connell, left, and captain Damien Varley after defeat to Toulon. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene
27 April 2014; Simon Zebo, Munster, after defeat to Toulon. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
Dejected Munster players Ian Keatley and James Downey, left, following their side's defeat. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy
Simon Zebo, Munster, goes over to score his side's first try despite the efforts of Drew Mitchell, Toulon. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene
Simon Zebo, Munster, scores his side's first try despite the efforts of Steffon Armitage, left, and Drew Mitchell, Toulon. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene
Ian Keatley, Munster, kicks a penalty. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene
27 April 2014; Paul O'Connell, Munster, is tackled by Carl Hayman, Toulon. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Conor Murray, Munster, after defeat to Toulon. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene
Dejected Munster players James Coughlan, right, and Dave Foley following their side's defeat. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy
A dejected Donncha O'Callaghan, Munster, following his side's defeat. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy
Paul O'Connell, Munster, after defeat to Toulon. Heineken Cup, Semi-Final, Toulon v Munster. Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene

Simon Zebo, who provided Munster with their only try, described the crushing loss as “too little, too late”, adding that he found the result very difficult to stomach following last year’s defeat to Clermont Auvergne in Montpellier.

“We knew what we were going into this time, so it’s a hard one – it’s very frustrating,” the winger said.

Meanwhile, coach Rob Penney said that belief in his players was not an issue on the day.

“There was petrol in the tank,” he said, adding that it was the slip ups that cost them.

Toulon end battling Munster’s Heineken Cup dreams

As it happened: Toulon v Munster

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