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Ronan O'Gara Had A Different Reaction Than Most After Champions Cup Winning Try

Ronan O'Gara Had A Different Reaction Than Most After Champions Cup Winning Try
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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Ronan O'Gara's coaching stock is at an all-time high after La Rochelle's Champions Cup final victory and you can certainly understand why.

Not many gave his La Rochelle team much chance of overcoming a heavily fancied Leinster team in Marseille, with the Irish province having ran riot against some top quality sides in the months before this game.

However, the former Munster man produced a coaching masterclass to pull off the upset. Not only did he help manufacture three tries for his side, but he devised a game plan that completely negated Leinster's potent attack at the other end.


Of course, the game would be won in the most dramatic of fashions. La Rochelle spent the final ten minutes or so absolutely battering the opposition try line, eventually crossing to touch down with just over 60 seconds to play. While most supporting the team inside the stadium were overcome with emotion in that moment, O'Gara had a very different thought process.

Ronan O'Gara had moment of doubt after winning try

Writing in his always entertaining column in the Irish Examiner, Ronan O'Gara recalled how his celebrations around the try were immediately cut short as he quickly became obsessed with the prospect of claiming Leinster's restart, something that he envisaged the worst from. However, his nerves were saved after it was confirmed that the opposition would not be given sufficient time to put the ball back into play.

I have stepped out of the mayhem into a parallel world where I am the only person in the stadium focused on Leinster’s restart...

I am losing my mind trying to get our delirious players to prepare for a shortened Leinster restart. My head is melting...

I see it already. They are going to pop up a short one, we are going to jump for the ball, Wayne Barnes is going to ping us for a collision in the air, Ross Byrne is going to equalise off the tee. Get ready for the restart, please. It’s all about winning this kick-off, the little details...

On the mic, the fourth official is communicating that Ihaia West can use up more than a minute for his conversion and let the clock run into the red. These are the small moments that can change your life, that do change your life...

Those few words from the fourth official change your world. From receiving a kick-off and a traumatic last play, the elation of that not coming to pass electrifies every fibre. It sets you free. You have scored in a European Cup final with the last play of the game. That’s absolute ecstasy-turned-nightmare and back to elation all in the space of twenty seconds.

You can read his brilliant column in full here, where Ronan O'Gara gives further insight into the week leading up to the final

La Rochelle's season is far from over, with the a game against Lyon this weekend set to decide their fate for the Top 14 play-offs.

Regardless of how that plays out, their Irish coach has certainly moved his reputation up by a couple of notches over the last week or so. The way he is going, he might even get the England job...


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