Ronan O’Gara puts Sexton misery behind him by fulfilling his career-long dream
Ronan O’Gara played many, many games across his career for Munster, Ireland and the British & Irish Lions, and played almost every one of those matches with a virtual target on his chest for tacklers and carriers to run into.
As far as brains go, there are few, if any, in the history of the game that can boast a greater rugby intelligence than the Irishman, in terms of physicality, there are few that can be accused of having less.
But O’Gara achieved something on Saturday that he dreamed of his entire 15-year career, but never came close to achieving- he broke a tackle.
In a playing career that saw the La Rochelle head coach play almost 400 matches, which would have included thousands of carries, our statisticians at Rugby Onslaught have guessed that he never once broke a tackle. O’Gara is lucky he played in an era where post-contact metres were not really a thing, because he probably didn’t make any.
But the 46-year-old got that taste of adrenalin for the first time in his life on Saturday at the Matmut Atlantique as his side played Bordeaux Begles in the Top 14. Yes, it was a ball boy that was tackling him, and yes it was while the Munster legend was teaching him how to tackle, but there was definitely a moment where the ball boy let go. In O’Gara’s book, that goes down as a broken tackle.
Such was his giddy state of euphoria at becoming Ireland’s answer to Henry Tuilagi, O’Gara did not even care that his side won their derby match 36-6 to keep them firmly in second place in the Top 14. It was the perfect tonic for him after a week where his Irish No10 successor Johnny Sexton overtook his record for the most points in the Six Nations.
Take a look:
— TOP 14 Rugby (@top14rugby) March 30, 2023