Thursday 17 October 2019

'Rugby is about winning... I don't care how' - Ronan O'Gara rejects calls for more expansive game

Robbie Henshaw challenges with Pablo Matera for the ball during Ireland’s defeat
Robbie Henshaw challenges with Pablo Matera for the ball during Ireland’s defeat Newsdesk Newsdesk

Former Ireland flyhalf Ronan O'Gara has refused to join the chorus of people claiming that Joe Schmidt's men should adopt a more attacking style following their disappointing Rugby World Cup exit.

A 43-20 defeat at the hands of the Pumas has led to a very extensive post mortem of Ireland performance in the tournament and how the team should adapt for the future.

Schmidt has been accused of playing a limited game since Sunday's loss but O'Gara believes that the importance of results will continue to trump the desire for style in Test rugby.

"For me rugby is about winning, I sleep well at night when I win. I don't care how," the Racing Metro coach told Game On on 2FM.

"Since Joe Schmidt took over, there wasn't anyone complaining about how we were playing.

"With that game we were a kick away from beating New Zealand in the Aviva.

"I wouldn't be of the opinion that Ireland play a stagnant game.

"I think people are misreading it a bit in terms of style of play."

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O'Gara likened Ireland situation to the problems Munster and Leinster faced in trying to secure Heineken Cup success.

"Everyone has found problems with it but finding solutions is what we need to do," he added.

"You have to keep trying and trying and if you knock your head at the door enough you'll break through.

"I don't think our gameplan is that wrong and I don't think the divide between the northern and the southern hemisphere is that big an issue.

"It comes down to 80 minutes and they were better than us."

The Corkman believes if referee Jerome Garces had given Argentina#s tighthead Ramiro Herrera a second yellow card, Ireland would be preparing for a World Cup semi-final this weekend.

"It could have gone a different way if the referee had decided the Argentinean number three led with his head and didn't clear out the ruck in the manner that it's meant to be cleared out, it's a big turning point if he gives him a second yellow card which is a red card.

"I'm sure Ireland would have won the game."

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