Ronan O'Gara not worried despite rocky start to La Rochelle reign
Ronan O’Gara says he isn’t worried despite a far from ideal start to his reign as head coach at La Rochelle.
O’Gara was promoted to the top job after Jonno Gibbes decamped to Clermont over the summer. O’Gara, one the game’s greats, earned his coaching stripes as an assistant at Racing, with whom he lost the final with in 2016 before moving on to the Super Rugby title-winning Crusaders.
But it’s not been a great start at La Rochelle.
The French giants have fallen to three losses on the trot, albeit against some of the very best the French league has to offer. An opening game defeat at home to French champions Toulouse was followed by losses to Racing 92 and Clermont on the road.
“It’s quite easy to understand this defeat, when you still lack precision,” O’Gara said following the defeat to Clermont. “You don’t have to look too far. We relaxed too easily in several key moments. There you go, game lost. But I’m not worried, I’ve seen some positive things. There is still a lot of work to be done. I am frustrated, disappointed for the players. We were not efficient.
“There was better to do. When you lack precision, you don’t deserve to win. It is clear to everyone. We released the pressure too easily on some key moments. And we lost.
“Three losses? No, I’m not worried. There is still a lot of work to be done and I hope to do it in this club and not another team. I am frustrated and disappointed for the players because the group has a lot of character and I love it.
“Our strategy was good but we lacked ambition to try when we had the advantage but it is difficult to find the balance between playing too much and not enough. We lacked skill in attack but we are under construction. We weren’t efficient at key moments.
O’Gara admitted it was up to him to turn the season around and his convince his team of the merits of his new system.
“It’s up to me to show the way to convince the players that it’s going to work.”
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