Lee Byrne: A thriller, but thoughts are with Thom

Fifteen to one
Click to follow
The Independent Online

You would struggle to find a finish as exciting as that in the whole of Test history. But my first thoughts afterwards went out to Scotland's Thom Evans and his family. It looked like he had sustained a bad injury and you hate to see that happen to any player.

The way I recall it, two guys tackled Thom and his head smashed into my pelvic bone as I came in to make a possible tackle. It was a big collision – one of those unfortunate things which happen in the game. I wish him every bit of luck and a full recovery.

When we got back to the dressing room after the game some of the first words I had were with Shane Williams. He had given a wave before putting the ball down for our winning try and I wanted to check what that was all about. Shane said he wanted to keep the crowd on their toes and we both had a laugh but we knew how close we had been to losing again, after the England match.

We did not turn up properly for something like 70 minutes. We made too many errors, myself included. And when Dan Parks dropped his second goal for 24-14, our boys probably thought that was that. We are leaving it too late and all of us know that.

There was so much going on in those last 10 minutes. I was pretty pleased with my part in Leigh Halfpenny's try. I saw Sean Lamont coming up, I put a decent fend out and got Leigh in, even if he was a bit tight to the dead ball line for my liking. It reminded me of a try Shane scored for the Ospreys against Sale a couple of years ago when he went right to the wire. But they all count the same.

Then we got back to 24-24 with the penalty and the yellow card for Scotland's Phil Godman. It was the referee's call about the sin-bin but I had no doubt it was deserving of a penalty. The video evidence will show it was a trip. I kicked the ball through and Phil left his foot there. If he is going to do that he has to expect to be penalised.

So it was all level, the clock showed time was up and I was amazed Scotland didn't kick the ball dead. It was brilliant then to be looking up from the bottom of a ruck and seeing Shane give that wave as he went over. My nerves had gone – in fact everything had gone by then.

We really do have to look closely at why we are letting teams get up on us before we play our best rugby. You could say it is the best teams who have an ability to keep going and get a win. Look at Manchester United, and how many times they pop up with a goal in the 93rd minute.

Our coaches have a belief in the patterns we play and we did stick at them. And the way it turned out, we can certainly say we gave the crowd value for money. A loss would not have been acceptable in front of them and they went mad when Shane scored. But I wish we could win by 15 or 20 points – that would be nice for a change.