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Brian O'Driscoll Sums Up The Magic Of Ronan O'Gara After La Rochelle Beat Leinster Yet Again

Brian O'Driscoll Sums Up The Magic Of Ronan O'Gara After La Rochelle Beat Leinster Yet Again
By Gary Connaughton Updated
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Another Champions Cup final, another heartbreaking loss for Leinster.

Leo Cullen's side entered this afternoon's game as slight favourites against La Rochelle, but despite a fast start, a fairly sizeable collapse would ensure that the Irish side came out on the wrong side of the result.

Leinster started the game in a remarkable fashion, scoring a pair of tries inside the opening six minutes.

You could have been forgiven for thinking that Leo Cullen's side would run away with the game at this point, although the reality was far different.


La Rochelle started the game poorly, but they grew into it as it went on. They steadily chipped away at the lead and were well on top in the second half.

They would eventually take the lead in the final ten minutes.


Leinster would launch an assault on the La Rochelle line in the closing stages as they attempted to retake the lead, but they would come up short.


Despite leading by 17 points after 12 minutes, the Irish province would lose a third consecutive final in this competition.

Brian O'Driscoll praises Ronan O'Gara after La Rochelle win

Leinster will come away from this game feeling they have left another European trophy behind them. Questions will certainly be asked about their mentality in this competition, having come up short on the biggest stage once again.

As for La Rochelle, they have now cemented their place as one of the best club sides we have ever seen. Their development in recent years has been remarkable, all of which was led by Ronan O'Gara.


Speaking on BT Sport after the game, Brian O'Driscoll summed up what makes his old Ireland teammate such a special coach.

There are a number of different factors to this. He is an incredibly driven guy, he always has been.

He was a very talented player himself, but that doesn't always convert to being a coach and understanding how to read the room, say the right thing at the right time, be distant enough as a coach needs to be but be together enough to pull a group together, create a culture and winning environment, put out players that are holding you back and brining in ones that will add value.

That is usually a three or four year process. It's amazing to think that two years ago he was assistant coach with Jono Gibbes, took over last year as head coach and won [the Champions Cup].

To win it a second time, this must go down as an absolute coaching masterclass. To be able to come to the Aviva Stadium against an incredibly hotly tipped Leinster team, go 17 points down, and still have the wherewithal to pull his team together and say the necessary things to keep them in the game right to the very death is phenomenal.

Quite the endorsement from one legend of Irish rugby to another.


Ronan O'Gara and La Rochelle will certainly enjoy the celebrations tonight. They are well deserved.

SEE ALSO: Michael Ala'alatoa Sent Off For Vicious Hit Late In Champions Cup Final

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