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Ronan O'Gara Sums Up The Slog Of La Rochelle Season With Leinster Comparison

Ronan O'Gara Sums Up The Slog Of La Rochelle Season With Leinster Comparison
By Gary Connaughton Updated
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La Rochelle have booked their place in a third consecutive Champions Cup final, defeating Exeter Chiefs on a scoreline of 47-28 in their semi-final this evening.

It was a game where Ronan O'Gara's men dominated for large periods, opening up a sizeable lead in the first half. They played some scintillating rugby along the way, including this try from Raymond Rhule in the second half.

The French side will now face Leinster in the final, setting up a rematch of last year's decider. Of course, La Rochelle will also be hoping for a similar result.

Ronan O'Gara makes interesting La Rochelle-Leinster comparison

Ronan O'Gara has done a remarkable job at La Rochelle. While he has a top class playing squad at his disposal, he has also instilled the type of winning philosophy that had not previously been present at the club.


Not only did he lead them to their first Champions Cup triumph, but they are also in the hunt for a maiden Top 14 title this season. It will certainly be a busy few weeks ahead as they continue to compete on both fronts, with two Top 14 games to come before the European final.

Leinster have their own challenges ahead, facing into a URC quarter-final and semi-final before the Champions Cup decider on May 20th. In saying that, they do hold somewhat of an advantage over their opponents in that they have been able to rest players for large portions of the season, a luxury La Rochelle were not afforded.

Speaking to BT Sport, O'Gara said that this type of intense fixture list is nothing new to his team.



You'd find this hard in your mindset, but the month Leinster have this month, we have it every month. I think you need to think about that a little bit.

It is ten months of a slog. I have to get a team for Toulon, we play Montpellier, then we played Leinster.

You might think that's a little bit off, that this guy is just looking at Leinster the week of the final...

It wasn't like this a few years ago. You get buy in from your players, we've got a squad that can compete on both levels. That's what you want, we're passionate about it.

We've had a go, we're doing well in the Top 14 and we're doing well in this. It can come together quite quickly, but it can also fall apart quite quickly.

We're very lucky in the fact that we have created a group that want to play for each other...

To be fair Leinster do have that (this month). They have the quarter-final and a URC semi-final...

You'll find it hard to believe, but I haven't thought about (the final). This was the last dance for Exeter today, I was hugely nervous about today's game because I understand the culture and what they stand for. For me, it would be ludicrous to look beyond it.

Today was a little bit different, because obviously you expect a game with supporters, but this blew me away. I think we savour that today and tomorrow, then we will make a plan for the future over a few beers.

It will certainly be a titanic clash at the Aviva Stadium in a few weeks and you would hope that both sides come into the game with as clean a bill of health as possible.

Here's hoping for a belter.

SEE ALSO: Fans Accuse Josh Van Der Flier Of Play Acting To Milk Yellow Card Against Toulouse

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