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La Rochelle boss Ronan O'Gara booed at Aviva Stadium

By Ian Cameron
La Rochelle head coach Ronan O'Gara before the Investec Champions Cup quarter-final match between Leinster and La Rochelle at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Sam Barnes/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Once hailed as a hero at Lansdowne Road, Ronan O’Gara faced a harsh reception during his side’s quarterfinal loss in the Investec Champions Cup at Aviva Stadium.


Every time O’Gara was shown on the big screen, boos echoed around a soldout Aviva Stadium, marking a stark shift from his celebrated past as a once-celebrated Ireland flyhalf.

With off-field dramas in last year’s Champions Cup final between O’Gara and a number of Leinster players and staff, it was hardly surprising that the Cork native was very much the pantomime villain for a boisterous Leinster crowd, who had packed HQ to capacity.

Booing aside, it would prove a day to forget for O’Gara, whose side ultimately lost convincingly 40-13 to a pumped-up Leinster team, seemingly hell-bent on battering their opposition. The home side delivered a convincing victory to exorcise the ghosts of two Champions Cup final defeats to the same side.

“It’s clear to anyone with a bit of cop on that the team in blue were the better side,” said O’Gara in the post-match press conference. “The better team won.”

Although O’Gara alluded to his side being ‘away for 13 days’, he refused to use it as an excuse.

Ronan O'Gara
La Rochelle head coach Ronan O’Gara checks the pitch at half-time of the Investec Champions Cup quarter-final match between Leinster and La Rochelle at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Indeed O’Gara’s decision to bring his side to Cork in the days preceding this evening’s hammering – heralded as a masterstroke of pre-match gamesmanship by some – now looks, if anything, a little questionable. Even before the game the former Munster playmaker defended claims it was a ‘holiday’, but either way it doesn’t look so smart after what was a one-sided battering to their bitter rivals.


And there wasn’t much love for O’Gara on social media either.

One poster on X alluded to controversial comments O’Gara made nine years ago (branded misogynistic my some) which have resurfaced this week in the lead-up to the fixture: “Now as a woman I may not truly understand this rugby score, it being so complex, but it seems to my simple mind that Leinster thrashed Ronan O’Gara’s La Rochelle.”

Another user took the opportunity to take a pop at the Munster legend, who has been rightly lauded for coaching feats at La Rochelle to date. “The best thing about this Leinster win today is maybe the Irish media will stop treating Ronan O’Gara as some sort of coaching demigod who everything he does is a genius move.”

Another claimed O’Gara needed to learn from the defeat. “This game is emblematic of La Rochelle this season. There’s been some good and a lot of bad. I hope Ronan O’Gara shows some maturity and takes this loss on the chin. He likes to act like a petulant child when he doesn’t get his way.”





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Turlough 6 hours ago
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