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Ronan O'Gara Lifts Lid On How Sean O'Brien Row Was Resolved

Ronan O'Gara Lifts Lid On How Sean O'Brien Row Was Resolved
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
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The dust has now begun to settle on Ronan O'Gara and La Rochelle's great triumph on Saturday evening in the Aviva Stadium.

17 points down after 11 minutes, and 16 down just before half-time, it truly was a special comeback from the French side to defeat Leinster by a single point in the Champions Cup final, and resides as one of the greatest achievements of O'Gara's career.

It was a memorable win, but not one without controversy for O'Gara.

In the hours and days following La Rochelle's sensational win, reports emerged of a half-time bust up in the tunnel, with further details suggesting that the disagreement was primarily caused by Leinster's Sean O'Brien, with Ronan O'Gara and Johnny Sexton also involved.

Ronan O'Gara says half-time spat is water under the bridge

Leinster were reported to have stationed Sean O'Brien outside the referee's room in the tunnel at the interval, after an incident in last year's final in Marseille which saw Ronan O'Gara approach referee Wayne Barnes at half-time.

Sean O'Brien

20 May 2023; Leinster contact skills coach Sean O'Brien arrives before the Heineken Champions Cup final match between Leinster and La Rochelle at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

O'Gara has now addressed the incident, and said that he and O'Brien had put their differences aside at the full-time whistle.


READ HERE: O'Gara v Sexton: Five Chapters Of One Of Irish Sport's Great Rivalries

In his weekly column for the Irish Examiner, Ronan O'Gara gave the lowdown on the weekend of the Champions Cup final, and the celebrations that have followed for him and his La Rochelle team.


He spoke about the buildup to the game, saying that he told the entire team to think of who they would "bring" on their "Everest," as they sought to win a second successive European crown.

O'Gara himself said that he had chosen his mother as his inspiration for the day in Dublin, after her recent battle with illness. He said he had been blown away by the reception the team received on their return to La Rochelle, and broke down the special atmosphere in the camp in the days leading up to the game.

Intriguingly for Irish rugby fans, he also lifted the lid on his half-time argument with the Leinster lads. He revealed that, at full-time, he had seen O'Brien once again on the pitch, and the two had cleared the air:


There’s the flip side, which we’ve seen too. I wanted to seek out some of the Leinster lads afterwards. There is a keen rivalry there, exaggerated in the last three years. We were on the pitch a while before I met Sean O’Brien for the second time. We both understood we were after coming out of a powder keg. He was great. You know I’m a competitor, Rog.

I sure do.



SEE ALSO: Intriguing Footage Shows How Leinster Ignored Ross Byrne Pleas To Go For Drop Goal

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