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The Welsh Press Are Baffled By The Man Of The Match Call In Yesterday's Game

The Welsh Press Are Baffled By The Man Of The Match Call In Yesterday's Game
By Conor Neville Updated

Perhaps the time has come to form some impartial, supranational institution akin to the United Nations to deliberate upon who should be awarded Man of the Match in international rugby matches.

Ireland/Wales got top billing on our aural juggernaut The Racket. Listen below:

Or at least ask a neutral broadcaster to do the job. Get Canal+ to award Man of the Match in the Ireland-Wales fixture, for instance.

According to the Western Mail/Wales Online, there is much irritated bemusement among Welsh supporters that Jamie Roberts's display went unrewarded with the Man of the Match gong. With minutes remaining, they simply assumed the award was his.

Donal Lenihan's decision to give the award to new boy CJ Stander has been regarded as nothing less than a snub to Roberts.

Unsurprisingly, they assumed a certain home town bias on the part of the Irish national broadcaster.

Roberts completed a monstrous 21 tackles as he chopped down wave after wave of Irish attacking play in a brutal Six Nations contest.

With just minutes remaining of the match, Wales fans waited for Roberts' outstanding efforts to be rewarded with the inevitable man of the match award.

But then, to their astonishment, the news came through that Ireland's CJ Stander had in fact been bestowed with the honour....

The answer? Well, the award was actually dished out by Irish broadcasters RTE which probably explains why Stander, who was admittedly impressive, got the nod.

Aside from their annoyance at Roberts' snubbing at the hands of an allegedly green-eyed co-commentator, the Western Mail evinced much frustration at Wales's showing yesterday. They had promised greater expansion but instead we saw the same stuff we've been used to seeing with Gatland's teams. They alluded to Ireland's depleted ranks and lamented a lost opportunity for Wales.

Rugby correspondent Simon Thomas was unimpressed.

Although they showed decent character to come from behind, they will be disappointed because they will know this is a game they should have won.

It would be stretching it to say Ireland were there for the taking, but with all their absentees, they were certainly vulnerable and Wales had the chances to nail the victory.

But once again, a lack of cutting edge let them down.

The often caustic Welsh legend Barry John characterised their display as 'very average', again remarking on the perennially absent 'cutting edge'. However, he finished by remarking that Wales often get better they longer they are in camp under Gatland. He believes Wales will go on to win the championship.


In the Guardian, Eddie Butler also subscribed to the view that Ireland will have been more satisfied with the draw than the Welsh.

Ireland, ravaged by injury to nine of their regulars, may consider this a draw earned rather than a precious home banker squandered. Wales may treat this as a point garnered rather than a grand slam spoilt. Since history shows that the away teams tend to win these games, they may well settle for disappointment.

Read more: Shane Horgan Absolutely Tore Into The French National Side For RTE





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