Billy Burns has revealed that he felt like the “world caved in” on him after his skewed kick against Wales in the first match of the 2021 Six Nations.
With Ireland five points down against Wales, Burns had the opportunity to kick the ball to touch to grant his side an attacking line-out metres from the Welsh try-line. Unfortunately, Burns kicked the ball dead and ended the game.
The Ulster and Ireland fly-half was speaking to the BBC about missing touch in the final act of play, and admitted that he struggled to get over his mistake for weeks after the game.
“Billy let himself down with the execution of a skill that he should’ve done better with, he’d be the first to admit that.
“But Ireland didn’t lose to Wales because of Billy Burns.”
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) February 8, 2021
“I’ll be honest it was tough, the first couple of weeks after that mistake I really struggled,” Burns said.
“As soon as that moment happened, it was the worst I’d ever felt in my life – the world had just fallen apart and everything just caved in on me.
“I got into the changing room afterwards and you can see the disappointment in other people and you know you’ve had a massive part [in it].”
‘Nobody else to blame, it was all on me.’
While the 26-year-old has moved on from the disappointment of the kick, he is determined to use the experience in a way that will positively affect his future.
The Ulsterman took full responsibility for missing touch in the final act of play in Cardiff, and accepted the fickle nature of sport.
“It’s one of those, I made a decision. I could either let it burn and kill me and go into my shell, or I could use it as a real driving force,” he said.
“I think that’s the beauty of the mistake: it was me. It was me, a rugby ball, and I missed the line. Nobody else’s fault; perfect night, great conditions.
“Nobody else to blame, nothing else could have changed, it was all on me. For that one moment, something that I’ve done hundreds of thousands of times didn’t go well for me.
“Obviously it’s devastating when you work so hard to get to that level, and you get your big moment and you don’t quite get it the way you’ve envisaged it.”