Ronan O'Gara is a two-time Champions Cup winning coach after a second successive crown for La Rochelle was won in dramatic fashion at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday evening.
La Rochelle pulled off one of the great European rugby comebacks, fighting back from 17-0 down in the early stages to overpower Leinster - on home soil - in the second half, and held on for a nail-biting one point win in Dublin.
O'Gara was ecstatic at full-time - and, midway through effusing praise about his fellow coach Donnacha Ryan, he was ambushed by his La Rochelle team with a soaking midway through his post-match interview with RTÉ.
Ronan O'Gara: La Rochelle boss praises Donnacha Ryan after Champions Cup final
An electric start from Leinster saw them claim three tries within the first 12 minutes to leave La Rochelle shellshocked and 17 points down in the opening stages at the Aviva Stadium.
Though Ronan O'Gara is no stranger to Lansdowne Road, he bullishly reminded the RTÉ panel pre-match that his home is in Cork, not Dublin - and the raucous Leinster crowd would have done nothing to make the Aviva Stadium feel like home for ROG on Saturday evening. The volume of the Leinster fans only increased after their explosive energy to the game.
Nonetheless, the Leinster crowd were matched in fervour by the La Rochelle fans and, as the game progressed, they were given plenty to cheer about.
After a dramatic second half, La Rochelle sealed back-to-back Champions Cup titles with a sensational comeback, capped off by Georges-Henri Colombe's late winning try.
The win cements Ronan O'Gara's place as one of the very best coaches in European rugby, and he gave a phenomenal interview to RTÉ at full-time which summed up the character of a man who now has four European Cup medals across his playing and coaching career.
ROG spoke to the RTÉ panel - which included his former Ireland teammates Jerry Flannery and Jamie Heaslip - and gave special mention to the impact of fellow Munsterman Donnacha Ryan on his La Rochelle coaching staff.
He broke down what had made Ryan such an important coach in the setup, while cracking up the RTÉ pundits by repeatedly referring to him as "Shkin":
I think the big learnings from my playing days and coaching...you get good people in the building first, and then you work on the competence.
Shkin started off - would you believe, he's been coaching two years, and he has two European Cup medals. He's probably the most performing coach in the world! Statistically, he tops all the data - you know how deep Shkin is but he's got a heart of gold.
At the start, he wanted a bit of a PHD in lineouts, I was saying - "Shkin, just win the ball! I can launch a few attacks, just win the ball -"
It was at that moment that the La Rochelle players hilariously ambushed the RTÉ interview and soaked O'Gara with water bottles. The cameras brilliantly picked up the La Rochelle players approaching from a distance, but the RTÉ panel made no effort to warn ROG of the impending attack.
☔️ Ronan O'Gara had just finished eulogising about Donnacha Ryan's impact within his La Rochelle coaching set-up when his players decided to interrupt our post-match interview... #RTERugby #LEIvSR pic.twitter.com/RsnJfPY2nR
— RTÉ Rugby (@RTErugby) May 20, 2023
O'Gara then left the interview in a hurry to join the celebrations with his players.
On a day when many Irish rugby fans will have been left disappointed, the success of Ronan O'Gara and Donnacha Ryan was something to enjoy, on a special day for La Rochelle at the Aviva Stadium.