Monday 27 February 2017

ROG by numbers

1 -- The number of substitute appearances from 99 outings -- against Bourgoin at Thomond Park in his debut 1997/98 season when Killian Keane started at out-half. Munster won 17-15.

2 -- The number of Heineken Cup winners medals won by O'Gara. In 2006, he scored 13 points in the 23-19 win over Biarritz and two years later, he scored 11 as Munster beat Toulouse 16-13.

3 -- Yellow cards picked up by O'Gara. The first in the feisty clash against Paul Volley; the second in the momentous win away over Perpignan in 2009/10 and the final card coming on a tough afternoon in Toulon earlier this year when Munster were dumped out at the pool stages.

8 -- The number of tries scored, the most memorable coming against Leinster in the 2006 semi-final. Leinster went in as favourites following a sensational quarter-final win in Toulouse only to be blown away by the ferocity of Munster's assault. O'Gara's fist-pumping surge to the line was the coup de grace.

15 -- The ERC marked 15 years of Heineken Cup competition with a series of awards -- O'Gara picked up the top playing gong and sailed in into the 1995-2010 Dream Team alongside Brian O'Driscoll and Anthony Foley.

16 -- The number of successful drop-goals. The first against Pontypridd in 1999, the latest against Castres last month and the best, the 44m effort a week earlier against Northampton.

175 -- His tally of successful conversions. Plenty of highlights to choose from, with the kick to ensure Munster's win over Gloucester in the 'Miracle Match' high in the list. However, a bandaged and bloodied O'Gara converting Keith Wood's try to beat Saracens at Thomond in 2000 is hard to beat.

261 -- Successful penalties. While the missed kick -- albeit narrowly -- in the 2000 final against Northampton will always be remembered, it served as a spur for future achievement when O'Gara's penalty kicking has served as a foundation for Munster success. One that stands out is the kick from halfway to beat Leicester at Welford Road -- considering the pre-match hype had revolved around O'Gara's assertion that the English clubs were overrated, it was a classic example of walking the walk.

1,221 -- The total points scored. O'Gara's nearest rival is Stephen Jones, who languishes 361 points behind, and considering that the long-since retired Diego Dominguez is next on 645, the Munster man will be top of the scoring charts for the forseeable future .

Irish Independent

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