Heineken Champions Cup: Munster coach Johann Van Graan proud despite shootout defeat

Johann van Graan
Johann van Graan is the Munster coach and speaks to his players just before the penalty shootout against Toulouse

Johann van Graan, Munster coach, stated that he was “incredibly proud”, despite the cruel treatment of his players. Champions Cup quarter-final defeat by Toulouse.

After the extra time had expired, the Irish team lost in dramatic penalty shootout.

Conor Murray and Ben Healy missed, as Toulouse's kickers held firm to win the shootout 4-2.

Van Graan stated, “To lose it that way, that's unfortunately sports and that's how the rules are.”

“Somebody's gotta kick it over and someone's gotta miss.

“If there was ever a day to sum up Munster Rugby, it would be today – a community comprising 40,000 people who travel.

“Everyone associated with Munster rugby will feel incredibly proud of 23 men who stood up and fought for Munster rugby today. “I am incredibly proud.”

Munster held a lead of 24-14 in the second-half before the defending champions regained to draw.

Van Graan stated that “The man in the street will never experience what these 23 men went through today, and they'll always remember it.” They will live their entire lives.

“One kick is all it takes, and I am proud to be one of them.”

Toulouse will travel to Dublin next weekend to face Leinster in the semi-final. Captain Julien Marchand indicated that his team will “recoveree and renew”.

Marchand said, “Apart from hoping the penalties go over in the shootout,”

“It's a sad loss for Munster, and we must be humble out of respect for their team. But we are happy to win and move forward.

“We need to quickly recover because next week is another huge game. It will be a major challenge. We will regroup and recharge.

“That was a difficult quarter-final, but Munster's not for everyone.”

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