A moment of madness from Virimi Vakatawa cost Racing 92 dearly as they came up short in a thrilling encounter with Toulon.
The Parisians were beaten at home by the three-time European champions by a scoreline of 29-23, but could well have won the game if not for a shocking lack of urgency from star centre Vakatawa.
The French international looked to be home and dry, waltzing along in Toulon’s in-goal area with the ball in hand but lost the ball after being smashed by Toulon winger Gabin Villiere.
👨🚒𝑳𝒆 𝑺𝒂𝒖𝒗𝒆𝒕𝒂𝒈𝒆 𝒅𝒆 𝑮𝒂𝒃𝒊𝒏 𝑽𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒊𝒆̀𝒓𝒆
— RCT – RC Toulon (@RCTofficiel) January 18, 2021
The backline move deserved a try after a lovely offload from Teddy Thomas gave Vakatawa a clear run to the line, but credit must be given to Villiere for never giving up.
The result saw Racing miss out on an opportunity to leapfrog Ronan O’Gara‘s La Rochelle into second place in the Top 14 table, while Toulon narrowed the gap between themselves and their opponents to four points.
Meanwhile, Vakatawa will enter the history books for making one of the worst in-goal blunders in rugby, although the Frenchman does have some company in that regard.
Burns’ Bath blunder.
Former England international Freddie Burns made a similar mistake a couple of years ago in a crucial Champions Cup encounter against Toulouse.
Similarly to Vakatawa, Burns was in Toulouse’s in-goal area, even blowing a kiss to the crows on his way to the try-line, but had the ball dislodged by Maxime Medard just as he was about to dot down.
Five minutes to go…
Chance to win the game…
“Oh he’s dropped it!”
A brutal moment for Bath star Freddie Burns 😣 pic.twitter.com/K7S578Rdwx
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) October 13, 2018
It’s safe to say that both players will probably act a bit more hastily when they’re in for a try from now on.