Friday 25 May 2018

'In hindsight it turned out to be a bad decision' - Brian O'Driscoll on how decision to drop Simon Zebo backfired

Simon Zebo of Munster salutes the Munster fans
Simon Zebo of Munster salutes the Munster fans
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

It was always going to be a gamble and it simply didn't pay off for Johann van Graan.

Leaving Simon Zebo in the bench for yesterday's Champions Cup semi-final didn't go to plan for Munster.

Alex Wootton was left trailing in the wake of his opposite number Teddy Thomas for the opening try and the winger would wreak havoc again as Racing bagged three tries in the opening 23 minutes.

Zebo was sprung from the bench in he 43rd minute and scored the opening try in Munster's mini-revival.

Speaking on Off The Ball AM, Brian O'Driscoll highlighted how Wootton was at fault for the opening try and why it was an error to leave Zebo out of the starting XV.

"It was a big call leaving Zebo out," he said

"Wootton got caught ball watching on that first Teddy Thomas try and I haven't seen Vakatawa passing the ball as much as he did in the game but I thought he had a very good game.

"He saw Wootton's shoulders turned in and threw it out to Teddy Thomas on an outer and he just absolutely burned him.

"In hindsight it turned out to be a bad decision because he came on and played really well and because Wootton was a little bit exposed, his experience at that level and against that quality of an operator, he didn't understand the role of playing wing and owning the outside.

"As a winger, you can't get burnt on the outside. Whatever about getting stepped back inside, your hustle has to plug that and get a shot in him but don't get smoked on the outside."

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