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O'Gara Makes It Clear That There Should Be More Focus On Leinster Stopping La Rochelle

O'Gara Makes It Clear That There Should Be More Focus On Leinster Stopping La Rochelle
By Colman Stanley Updated
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La Rochelle head coach Ronan O'Gara was his usual straight-talking self, when speaking ahead of his side's meeting with Leinster in Saturday's Champions Cup final, his answers blunt but incisive.

The prevailing feeling in the 'rugby sphere' is that Leinster are the team that need to be stopped; a sentiment that is fair considering their record this season.

Last year, O'Gara acknowledged that he had to find a way to stop the Irish side, and he mentioned that he learned from Connacht's approach in their close-but-no-cigar attempt at taking a Leinster scalp in 2022.

This time around, however, O'Gara has made it clear that stopping his team, the current champions, is now a big part of the narrative. They are the ones whose crown must be taken.

We talk all the time about stifling or stopping Leinster. But stopping La Rochelle is also a subject. This perception is also important. Our last defeat (in the Champions Cup) was almost two years ago.

It's important to get there and make it 50-50 to win the match.

Ronan O'Gara Lays Down The Gauntlet Ahead Of Leinster -  La Rochelle

28 May 2022; La Rochelle head coach Ronan O'Gara is soaked by his players during an interview with BT Sport after the Heineken Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and La Rochelle at Stade Velodrome in Marseille, France. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

"Last weekend, there were twelve Leinster internationals in the stands for the game against Munster," added O'Gara.

"Munster won but it wasn't against Leinster's strongest side. It was like for us in Montpellier. It will be a completely different team.


"I'm not too interested in the opponent even if I respect him. I am focused on my team, on our path and what we are going to do on Saturday.

"With the staff, we worked well. There, I'm tired, I need to regain energy. The plan is organized, it is clear. We have to see if we manage to set it up in a hostile atmosphere. I have hypermotivated players, who are very hungry.

"We know it will be very hard but it is possible. It will be crucial to manage stress in a venue where there will be a lot of adversity. It will be a big test."


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