Monday 16 December 2019

O'Gara impressed with Erasmus role

Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

Ronan O'Gara has praised the influence of Rassie Erasmus after Munster claimed a home quarter-final in the Champions Cup.

O'Gara tasted a second defeat at the hands of his province in the space of a few weeks when Munster defeated Racing 92 at the weekend and he believes they have some excellent attacking options that can cause trouble in the knockout stages.

"Rassie is obviously really good at what he does. I don't know what it is that he does but he is obviously very good at it," said O'Gara.

"They have serious clarity about how they play. Everyone knows what they are doing and how they are doing it.

"They're a different side with Francis Saili in it. He just looks awesome with ball in hand and he attracts three defenders to him every time. Keeping him fit is key.

"Obviously if Keith Earls plays, they are a different team as well. The two of them combined together could be deadly. They have a back-line now that maybe they didn't have for the past two seasons. And they have serious strength in depth too.

The Irish players are so hard-working and honest, they have a serious base level of knowledge and skill as well. They are good players."

The Cork native also had praise for another man from the south of the province, Rory Scannell, who was called up to the Ireland Six Nations squad this week.

"He's going to face competition but at the minute he is the dominant centre because the consistency of performance is really good.

"Look at the first penalty, kicking to the right touchline. You could kick that ball out 30 yards but he kicked it 50 yards.

"That changes everything in terms of what call you are going to make. Having a big left foot gives you a huge advantage."

Irish Independent

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