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'We Knew Then That Leinster’s Last 20 Is Where We Can Get Them'

'We Knew Then That Leinster’s Last 20 Is Where We Can Get Them'
By Colman Stanley Updated

Ronan O'Gara is not just a brilliantly talented coach, but an articulate one as well. Even right after the match, with emotions at their zenith and in front hundreds of deafening fans, O'Gara was able to aptly describe how his side were able to beat Leinster in the Champions Cup final.

In the post-match press conference, he delved further into the match and his teams belief, and the minutes where Leinster are at their most vulnerable.

Without, I hope, any resemblance of arrogance, we genuinely believed that we’d win today. Otherwise, what happened throughout the game, [there were] ample opportunities to jump ship.

“18-10, yellow card. Teams with bottle, belief, a vision, find a way to win. The boys deserve immense credit for staying on task.

“There were one or two boys sulking at half time at 12-7, but I said to them that, before game, if we could sign at 12-7, I’d sign it.

“We’re a second half team, the data says that and as a coach you have to get into that.

“We knew then that Leinster’s last 20 [minutes] is where we can get them.”

“You go off your feet at any of those 150 pick-and-goes, it’s a penalty against us. So that’s the cup gone and then we’re a team of bottlers, three finals we can’t get over the line."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtaNHm6iC74

I’m very proud of them. I’m very proud of their mental resolve and it’s a great starting point for the club.”

“They had had enough of competing, they wanted to win. They (Leinster) may have had one or two opportunities, but I don’t think there was eight or 10 [points] left out there if I recall the game correctly.

“That sums up the want of this team. They wanted it for each other.

“We’re a second half team, the data says that and as a coach you have to get into that.

“We knew then that Leinster’s last 20 [minutes] is where we can get them.”

“You go off your feet at any of those 150 pick-and-goes, it’s a penalty against us. So that’s the cup gone and then we’re a team of bottlers, three finals we can’t get over the line.

“I’m very proud of them. I’m very proud of their mental resolve and it’s a great starting point for the club.”

After defeat in the Heineken Champions Cup final last season and another loss in the 2019 Challenge Cup showpiece game before that, O’Gara says his players were ready to secure a maiden European trophy.

“They had had enough of competing, they wanted to win. They (Leinster) may have had one or two opportunities, but I don’t think there was eight or 10 [points] left out there if I recall the game correctly.

“That sums up the want of this team. They wanted it for each other."

The clip of him and Sexton after the match was a microcosm of the respect the two competitors have for each other, and of the sheer gulf between utter dejection and massive elation.

SEE ALSO: Watch: Ronan O'Gara Gives Incredible Interview After Champions Cup Triumph Over Leinster

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