Scarlets prop Rob Evans gave an emotional response after his side succumbed 43-13 at home to Munster, holding back tears in an interview that drew plaudits from supporters
Modern-day athletes are often criticised for not being heartfelt in their interactions with the media, but Scarlets prop Rob Evans wasn’t lacking emotion following Sunday’s 43-12 defeat at home to Munster.
Dwayne Peel’s side were favourites to win against an Irish side playing their second-string line-up, while British and Irish Lions Ken Owens and Gareth Davies returned to action for the hosts.
Despite the pre-match odds, however, Scarlets could only muster one try to Munster’s six, leaving Evans discontent following his side’s first home loss of the United Rugby Championship.
The 39-cap Wales forward has earned plaudits for his frank and sincere response immediately after the result, however, during which he was visibly holding back tears:
“I’m sure you can imagine. Absolutely devastated really,” the Haverfordwest native said.
“Not acceptable from us, it’s embarrassing and we just need to get straight back to the drawing board, see what went wrong and put it right next week.”
Peel has taken over as head coach at Parc y Scarlets, and the former Wales scrum-half has thus far earned major praise for the inventive, attacking rugby he’s promoting.
But it was Scarlets’ porous defence that led to criticism on Sunday, and Evans was particularly despondent that performance had come in front of his home supporters.
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“It’s my home, isn’t it? It’s my region,” he continued, on what was clearly a sensitive matter.
“My family are here, my friends, the fans. It’s just disappointing.”
In a world where professional athletes can often be portrayed as impassionate towards their employers or distanced from fan bases, local boy Evans’ emotive assessment stands as an exception to the rule.
One Twitter user complimented Evans for his heartfelt analysis and tagged the prop as he wrote: “Not a nice interview to have to give after a crushing defeat but was sincere, heartfelt & honest. Well said @Revsprop1.”
Another supporter tweeted: “Hat Tip… to Rob Evans. A true Scarlets player. He recognises the poor performance yesterday.”
Scarlets is the only club the 29-year-old has represented at the professional level, having made his debut in January 2013 before going on to earn his bow for Wales two years later.
The Welsh region has now lost two of its opening three games in the URC, but it was the scale of their first home loss this season that had a clear impact on Evans and some of his team-mates.
Munster coach Johann van Graan will be largely over the moon with his side’s performance at Parc y Scarlets, although a concerning injury to second row RG Snyman soured the result.
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South Africa lock Snyman only recently returned to fitness after suffering a serious knee injury seven minutes into his club debut against Leinster a little more than one year ago.
The 6’9″ star limped off the field as he was replaced just 10 minutes after entering the fray in Wales, and Van Graan gave a dim assessment of the new knee setback.
“It looked like it might be significant but I’m not going to comment on it until he’s gone for a scan,” the Munster coach told reporters.
“He’s a very important squad player for us in terms of what he brings. Hopefully, we get some good news but it’s difficult to say at this stage.
“After speaking to him in the changing room I’m pretty worried about it.
“If it turns out to be serious, he’s a phenomenal man and he will get through this. The battles that he’s gone through over the last 15 months not a lot of human beings can do that.”