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Ronan O'Gara Describes What Sexton Is Going Through With Kicking Struggles

Ronan O'Gara Describes What Sexton Is Going Through With Kicking Struggles
By Gary Connaughton Updated
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Johnny Sexton wasn't at the races today. He failed to conduct the attack in the way we have become accustomed to in recent years, with Ireland's failure to gain ground out of the ruck a huge issue.

That was one problem, but his kicking was way off the mark. The Leinster man missed two very straightforward efforts and both at crucial moments in the game.

His penalty miss early on in the first half would have made the scoreline 7-3 and could have helped Ireland settle into the game. His conversion miss also came at time when Ireland looked like they had an outside chance of getting back into it.

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Instead, the life was sucked out the team on both occasions.

Sexton said after the game that his kicking had been subpar in training this week, shanking a number of efforts in a similar manner to that we saw today.

That is an issue that will to be remedied quickly if Ireland are to come away with any sort of credit from this tournament.

One man who knows what the Irish captain is currently going through is Ronan O'Gara. While the former Munster man was a top class goal-kicker, even he had his struggles at times.

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Speaking on Virgin Media after today's game, he said that Sexton's current funk is something that all kickers go through at one point or another, although not that frequently:

Not an a regular basis, because if they do you won't be playing much longer. That's the reality for kickers.

It's the most fascinating subject of all time, goal-kicking. I obviously have a passion for it. Some days it is so easy and the ball goes exactly where you want, and then some days you're like 'why is that ball going there?'

I seem to everything in my approach, everything is the same, my tempo feels good, my visualisation feels really good, and then of all the places why does it work like this? In front of 81,000 I kick like a turkey on my opportunity for my country.

You can be sure he will be on it. That's why it hurts, because he cares so much and it's a good opportunity.

I've been watching him for ten years and I don't know. I was his coach at Racing Metro, maybe that has something to do with it!

SEE ALSO: Shane Horgan Thinks Ireland Need At Least Four Personnel Changes Going Forward

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