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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ronan O'Gara does it again with late winner against Castres

Ronan O'Gara produced the goods for Munster yet again as he slotted a winning drop goal for the second week in succession, this time against Castres to give the visitors a 27-24 win on the road in the Heineken Cup.

Last week we saw how Munster put together over 40 phases before O'Gara snatched the win, and while this week there were no such heroics, the kick itself from ROG more than made up for it.

Despite appearances though, the man himself actually stated this this week's effort was easier.

"I think it was a lot easier this week. I had a big wind behind me and I nailed the kick last week. This one was a case of letting the wind do the work. I just had to get the ball inside the right hand post and the wind would look after it. Last week if I had 50 balls I wouldn’t kick as sweet a one as I hit," he said.

Paul O'Connell said after the game that they're blessed to have O'Gara there for moments like that.

"A lot of our guys aren't that experienced but certainly to have a guy like ROG behind there in the dying minutes is a great luxury for us, and that's two weeks in a row he's produced the goods for us," he said.

Munster now find themselves with two from two thanks to successive week's of nail-biting finishes. They sit in second place in Pool 1 on eight points, behind the Scarlets who top the group on nine.

Posted at 6:40 pm | 23 comments

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Ronan O'Gara pummeled by Duncan McRae in 2001

Viewing 23 comments

RedYeti November 22, 2011 8:28 pm

Why did he never bloody do it for the Lions? >

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Just Call Me Ehtch November 23, 2011 3:12 pm

ROG can drop them, but can't tackle. How Ireland and Munster have done so well with having a seven open-side flanker revolving door in front of him is one of the true baffling facts of life.

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Colombes November 22, 2011 8:58 pm

heartbreak for castres, certainly not the best french team but a lot of enthusiasm and courage

"ugly" Munster is back ;)
these men in red, never give up. throw them out by the door, they come back by the window. Munster should build an o'gara boot statue somewhere in limerick ;)

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AK-NZ November 22, 2011 9:05 pm

Brilliant again from ROG, it must be great to have someone that reliable on your side. It looked to be a good game with some well taken tries.

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Pretzel November 22, 2011 9:06 pm

Surely Munster should be worried they NEED ROG to get them the win at the last minute....

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BuzzKillington November 23, 2011 9:43 am

Why would they be worried? They're proving themselves to be built for high pressure, high intensity environments. The sort of wins that Munster are churning our will give them a distinct advantage come the big games.

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Pretzel November 23, 2011 7:35 pm

Right... so surely having the result in the bag by the 60th minute is a much worse option....

So next training session instead of focussing on trying to close the game out and win in soundly teams should focus on giving their kicker plenty of practice, and planning a good set up for a drop goal so they can try and win it with a kick in the dying moments of the game....uh huh....

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Pretzel November 23, 2011 8:52 pm

Not to mention the fact that if ROG gets destroyed one game and isn't around to make that "crucial" kick then they don't have the game winner.....

See my point now?

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Huh!! the 3rd November 24, 2011 3:25 am

"IF" ROG gets destroyed...... He's been playing HCup now for 13 years and in that time has only once been forced off from the attention of the opposition (Wasps 2004 semi). ROG can't tackle, but at least he "usually" doesn't hide, so while I agree with you if he gets destroyed, it hasn't come to that yet. Though, he is pushing retirement so he will probably be gone before he gets seriously injured.

Also on this point, when Tipoki played he said ROG was one of the toughest he'd played with. This was after he nearly had his ear ripped off away to Clermont in Jan 08 and played on including kicking a difficult pen to get the losing bonus, which proved hugely cruical that year.

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Pretzel November 24, 2011 9:49 pm

I wasn't suggesting anything negative with regards to ROG's physical abilities, nor his heart. But players DO and CAN get injured, or worn out, or get a bit "off form" occasionally.. Now I'm not for a second suggesting ROG has a history or is likely to become one of these things. But lets face it, NZ started to worry a bit when DC was injured during the World cup (not that it mattered in the end). JW was Englands number 1 man for a few years. So all I mean is it is a little reckless to rely on one man, and I hope for munsters sake they sort out their game so its a 15 man win, and doesnt leave ROG with all the pressure...

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Fettsack November 22, 2011 9:27 pm

Takes some balls to put it in at the last minute every time!
I keep two things in mind after this game:
1-dropgoals are easy 3 points and a lot of teams should use them more.
2-watch that young number 10 from Castres who played some nice rugby

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patedelievre November 23, 2011 7:28 am

I think his name is Pierre Bernard, he's 22 and found amazing touchlines, good kicking and good ball-carrying, good decisions as well...
On the other hand, we're France, well known for the girls, food, Notre Dame de Paris AND spoiling promising young fly-halves...

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Maximus November 23, 2011 2:03 pm

Couldn't agree more.
And I'm pretty happy to see several good French 10 in the Top14: Bernard (I hadn't payed much attention to him till this game, in all honesty), Trinh Duc, Beauxis, Skrela, Wisniewski, B├ęzy. Typing only but the names that have just crossed my mind.

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Huh!! the 3rd November 22, 2011 11:17 pm

I think O'Gara played down how good that was. The pass from O'Leary wasn't a good one, he had to reach for it, then re-adjust, and it was a snap kick, all from 40m. That was a beauty.

And nice to see a young Munster player coming through, O'Mahony looks the real deal. Maybe player of the opening 2 rounds!!!! Like to see him at 7 though..... and how did du Preez suddenly become a go to ball carrier. He hadn't done that for the last couple of seasons if memory serves. I leave the country for 5 months and it really is upside down.

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moddeur November 23, 2011 4:33 pm

That O'Mahony fellow was really impressive throughout the game, although I must say his try is more of a defensive error than a clear break.

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Just Call Me Ehtch November 23, 2011 5:10 pm

Never mind if drop-kicks are called in or slightly out by the ref, we known how to celebrate our refs from Scarletia and Wales. Known of him from years, when doing discos back in the early 1980s in Mynydd-y Garreg Workingmans Club. Glad I was he has got over difficulties since then, but recently Nige, never mind, more fish in the sea as we are all told, whatever fish you want. Myself would be a mepps at the end of a rod for a posh rich trout....
http://www.groggs.co.uk/shop/new_products/1_93_0_899/nigelowens2-3weekdelay.aspx

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Tex15 November 24, 2011 1:36 am

Please stop spamming the comments with losts that are irelevant to the piece. We get it, you are Welsh and love the Scarlets and making weird posts, but try and save it for posts about the Scarlets at least.

As far as the ROG drop goal is concerned, it is very impressive how well he handles pressure and makes so many last minute kicks to win. Not sure if that makes up for his complete inability to tackle though!

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Just Call Me Ehtch November 24, 2011 7:47 pm

So I take it I can't interest you in a Nigel Owens the Ref Grogg then? : ) Only 300 made, and selling fast?

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Seb G November 23, 2011 11:50 pm

hmm a valid point but didn't Castres level the points with a penalty kick? Weren't Munster winning after a try scored before that?

see my point?

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Curates_Egg November 24, 2011 1:30 pm

Amazing play from ROG. What is the BS about Cork and Limerick vs Dublin at the end though? Jeez you would have hope that stuff was long over.

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Huh!! the 3rd November 25, 2011 2:59 am

I think the answer was taken out of context. Maybe the question was about Leinster's recent success, and if thats the case, then its certainly true. Though with ROG you never know and hr may have just brought it up.

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mise November 25, 2011 11:57 pm

this has to be seen/heard to be believed: let's just call it the Cookie Munster (Irish ppl will especially know this, but anyone into rugby or even just into smiling will like this....)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4FU9SvW-Bk

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