Tuesday 30 May 2017

O’Gara insists players solely to blame for ‘embarrassing’ Euro failure

Ronan O'Gara Photo: Getty Images
Ronan O'Gara Photo: Getty Images

Hugh Farrelly

Munster are "baffled, angry and embarrassed" by last weekend's Challenge Cup semi-final flop against Harlequins.

The 20-12 defeat was only Munster's second European loss at Thomond Park and coach Tony McGahan said the dire performance has left everyone "scratching their heads".

"We're extremely embarrassed about the way we conducted ourselves at home after what our supporters have given us over a long period," said McGahan.

"We need to repay that faith. We're still really baffled as to where the performance has come from. There is disappointment, anger... like a lot of people, especially our supporters. To turn up at a home game and see what we displayed was not good. We're all scratching our heads."

Criticism

McGahan and his backroom team have been the target of some heavy criticism after Saturday's defeat and the Heineken Cup pool exit but out-half Ronan O'Gara has backed the management and says the players must look at themselves.

"They (the coaches) are not on the pitch," said O'Gara. "It's easy to blame them but the players were poor so let's take it on the chin, put your hands up. They didn't coach us to play like that. I would 100pc put it down to the players underperforming."

O'Gara, who will be honoured with a civic reception in Cork today, has had an excellent season and is the only Munster representative on the Magners League Dream Team.

Munster face Connacht on Friday night in the Magners League at home, having already secured a home semi-final and O'Gara says it's vital they rebound with a strong end to the season.

"It's easy to talk about it, but the only thing that will back this up is when we get our chance in our next semi-final."

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