Friday 20 April 2018

Dan Carter takes a side in Irish rugby's greatest debate: O'Gara v Sexton

Jonathan Sexton and Ronan O'Gara
Jonathan Sexton and Ronan O'Gara
Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Ronan O'Gara vs Johnny Sexton was Ollie Campbell vs Tony Ward in the social media age.

While the battle between the two out-halves in the early 80s was a major talking point in Irish rugby at the time, the debate as to whether O'Gara or Sexton is the superior number ten has surely surpassed it in terms of starting bar-room arguments.

There are similarities in both discussions: what do you value more, Ward/Sexton's play-making ability or Campbell/O'Gara ultra-accurate kicking?

Whether you are an O'Gara or a Sexton fan basically comes down to your provincial allegiance and the balance of power swung between the two throughout their entertaining battle for a starting berth in the Irish team.

It is best to remove all provincial bias when analysing who was ultimately the better player, so what better person to ask than the greatest out-half ever, All Black Dan Carter.

The recent World Cup-winner was a guest on the Anton Savage Show on Today FM this morning and seemed to lean towards the former Munster kicker as he mentioned a number of attributes that made him so special.

Although since O'Gara is now coaching Carter at Racing Metro, perhaps that made his decision a little easier.

"That is really tough," Carter said after Savage sprung one of the toughest sporting questions imaginable on his guest.

"I didn't play a lot against Sexton but for O'Gara to play so many test matches and kick so many points was a great achievement."

When pressed by Savage as to whether Carter was picking his coach in order to keep him on board as a translator, the New Zealander gave a response that is sure to drive O'Gara mad.

"I have to pump his confidence," he said with a laugh.

"We have been having a lot of kicking sessions and I think I've a mental block on him because  I've been killing him."

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