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Barkley pleased with Racing team spirit

Former Bath fly-half Olly Barkley was thrilled that his new club Racing Metro made a winning start to their Heineken Cup campaign after coming from behind to beat Munster at the Stade de France.

Simon Zebo's try with eight minutes remaining looked to have won the game for Munster, but a late Barkley penalty helped Racing triumph 22-17. Barkley also kicked three other penalties and a conversion as the French side recovered from a dreadful start in their Pool One opener.

"You don't win games like that against teams like Munster without a really good team spirit," he said. "It just doesn't happen in the rain. We'll take a lot of confidence from that."

The England international felt opposite number Ronan O'Gara's withdrawal through a hamstring injury late in the first half was a key moment in the game, saying: "He was kicking fantastically well, as we knew he would. That was a major blow for them."

Munster head coach Rob Penney was disappointed to see his side leave Paris with just a losing bonus point after dominating for much of the game.

Penney watched his players completely control the first 30 minutes but trail 13-10 at half-time in wet conditions before the province once again relinquished the lead at the death.

"We had opportunities - there's no doubt about it," Penney said after his first Heineken Cup game. "Very disappointed with the outcome but really pleased overall with the performance in a number of areas.

"But we just weren't capable of nailing those couple of opportunities and we let a couple of opportunities in their hands, which we shouldn't have provided for them."

Penney pointed to a key period midway through the first half as pivotal to the result. The dominant visitors led 10-3 when Paul O'Connell had a try ruled out, and Racing then pounced on an error in the Munster back-line as Maxime Machenaud chased down a try.

"We tried to run a ball that probably wasn't appropriate to run and they kicked through and got a try on the back of that. So it was a 14-point turnaround at that stage," he said. "Then we created opportunities elsewhere and got close but just didn't quite get over the mark."


From Belfast Telegraph