Racing coach angered by loss

Date published: April 5 2015

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Racing-Métro coach Laurent Labit couldn't hide his frustration after seeing his team narrowly beaten by Saracens.

The Parisian side missed the chance to reach a first-ever Champions Cup semi-final as they went down 12-11, with Marcelo Bosch's last-second penalty nicking it for the visitors.

It was cruel on Racing, who scored the only try, but paid the price for their indiscipline, however Labit felt they didn't get the rub of the green from referee Nigel Owens, most notably in the first half when Jim Hamilton avoided sanction for coming in from the side on a rolling maul which was eventually knocked on over the line by Dimitri Szarzewski.

"On the rolling maul which finishes in-goal, it's clear. Even if Dimitri (Szarzewski) doesn't touch the ball down, there clearly should have been a penalty try," he said. 

"Hamilton tackles the player in the maul and grabs his arm. There's definitely a knock-on, but more importantly there's an infringement. We should have been rewarded on that. 

"There were other opportunities that we couldn't finish. We know that Nigel Owens always plays a big part in these games. That's how it is. But I can't blame him for the final penalty. Against us we had a team that didn't panic and went to get the win. It's with games like this that we grow and hopefully one day we'll be a top team.

"We were penalised on the final play and it's very tough to lose a game like that after 80 minutes and all the work we put in. I think we went through a phase too many, we should have cleared the ball from our half or to stay on our feet. 

"By completing a near-perfect pool stage we gave ourselves the chance of a home quarter-final, which should have been an advantage. We didn't expect Saracens to be the eighth seed, last year's finalists, and in this game they showed they have more maturity and experience than us, especially on the final play.

"It was obvious that we were going to be penalised on that ruck. We saw it coming. Times have changed. I remember watching Munster play five minutes like that to become European champions (in 2008). When it's French clubs, it's obviously not possible.

"It's disappointing and a big blow, given the circumstances. We have to move on and recover. We'll concentrate on the Championship now."

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