Former England World Cup winning coach Sir Clive Woodward has been highly critical of Freddie Burns, following the Bath winger’s botched try in the closing stages of their Heineken Champions Cup contest with Toulouse on Saturday.
With his side losing 20-22, and having just missed a penalty from right in front of the posts, Burns looked as though he was to be the hero after all, as he broke through Toulouse’s defensive line with 75 minutes on the clock.
However, instead of just converting the try, Burns blew a kiss to the fans and tapped the badge on his chest, allowing the ball to be slapped out of his hands and with that, the chance to win the game disappeared.
Woodward, in his personal blog for the Daily Mail, was left perplexed and frustrated by Burns’ actions.
“Why did an experienced senior pro in a team desperate for a good win and start in Europe act like somebody scoring their first ever try for the Under 13 Bs,” Woodward questioned.
Woodward continued to not hold back, describing Burns’ actions as “crazy” and claiming it “has very possibly killed Bath’s European campaign dead before it even started.”
Woodward went on to claim that the Bath players “have got to start showing some maturity” and cut out the “ridiculous showboating”, with a similar failed effort at a try occurring in their first game of the Premiership this season.
"I still cannot even start to understand what on earth was going through Freddie Burns' head when he failed to touch down what surely would have been the winning try for Bath against Toulouse on Saturday.
"It was all so wrong, blowing a kiss to the crowd, the badge touch and did I see a wave as well? It was crazy behaviour and has very possibly killed Bath's European campaign dead before it even started.
"This is the kind of stuff that can cost coaches their jobs and Blackadder also needs to have a good look in the mirror himself.
"So please just stop this ridiculous showboating because it never ends well. Even if you 'get away' with it there is a price to pay. It winds up the opposition players and they remember.
“Any player who sees showboating as acceptable quite simply can go and find another club - enough is enough,” was Woodward’s final strong statement on the matter.
It wasn't just the showboating that had Woodward worked up.
It was Toulouse winger Maxime Medard who managed to dispossess Burns before he could get the ball down, a player Burns had been out for a coffee with on the Friday before the game.
Woodward was also critical of this decision.
“What on earth was he doing having a coffee with Maxime Medard on the Friday afternoon before the game?” Woodward continued.
“After the game, but never before. It sends out the wrong message. Succeeding in professional rugby is not easy. It is a tough, unforgiving business, not a school outing!”
Burns will be hoping he can put this blunder behind him and have a successful season with Bath.
If one thing is for certain, it’s that he won't be showboating again anytime soon.