Wednesday 20 September 2017

O'Gara will not stand for Racing's lack of passion and fight

Ronan O'Gara. Photo: Getty
Ronan O'Gara. Photo: Getty

Alan Quinlan

As a player, everyone knows that ROG always wore his heart on his sleeve and he is no different now in his role as a coach.

He was unbelievably driven and determined to succeed and, more often than not, he was a perfectionist who demanded the same standards from those around him.

He would have been torn between the emotion of what happened to Anthony and wanting to prove himself as a coach against his former team.

Ronan was there in the hotel with the Munster team on the fateful day back in October, so he went through that pain as much as everyone else that morning.

Ultimately, he is not the head coach at Racing. He doesn't have the same control as the main man, but make no mistake about it, if ROG had been in charge on Saturday, there is no way he would have accepted that same lack of passion and fight. There would certainly have been a lot more scrutiny around those areas.

Of course there is accountability for everyone involved - it was the same for Munster last season - but I think ROG has enough credibility in the bank to not have his reputation damaged.

He will have been really frustrated by the performance of his players. The values that he is looking to instil at Racing just weren't there on Saturday.

Racing had little to play for, but even still, if Ronan had been in that situation as a player, he would have been doing everything he could to make sure that pride at least remained in the jersey.

They were pretty disjointed and aside from the physicality that they showed early on, there were very few positives for them to take.

You don't expect French teams to roll over at home as easily as Racing did and that will really annoy him. They didn't seem to have the stomach for the fight and their work rate was poor.

No player goes on to the pitch not to try, but at this level and with the resources that Racing have, you have to expect more than what we saw.

When a team makes as many changes as Racing did, it will go one of two ways: either players play with a point to prove, or else the lack of cohesion has a negative impact.

As Top 14 champions and beaten Champions Cup finalists last season, most people would have expected Racing to top the pool, but they have been miles off the pace.

You'd have to wonder if Racing were affected in the same way that Glasgow were in Thomond Park, but they will have to quickly refocus on the Top 14 if they are to get their season back on track.

Rest assured, ROG will be doing everything he can to ensure that they do just that.

Irish Independent

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