O'Gara: 'Returning to Limerick was really special, really warming'

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

Email:

ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

O'Gara: 'Returning to Limerick was really special, really warming'

RACING 92 assistant coach and former Munster out-half Ronan O’Gara described his weekend return to Limerick as ‘really special and really warming.’

O’Gara’s Racing side suffered a 22-10 defeat to Munster in the Champions Cup at Thomond Park on Saturday night. 

The victory ensured Munster secured a record ninth home quarter-final in the Champions Cup at the start of April.

O’Gara said he felt Munster had lost their identity before the start of their Champions Cup pool campaign last autumn, but the side was now transformed. 

“I’d forgot how good this place is if you were a Munster player. Last night was my first night back in Limerick and it was really special, really warming. The people there were really genuine, decent.

When you go away, you get on with your own work. Driving in on the bus today was really cool, all the Munster flags

“Unfortunately, it’s only when you’re finished, you realise how good Munster have it. To be fair, it is probably one of the best atmospheres in world rugby. It is that good. We’d fellas motivated by it too, it gets the best out of them.

“It is great for players to taste the real Thomond Park.

“It’s an incredible journey Munster are on. If you rewind four months ago, nobody was interested in this team. This team had lost its identity and look at it now.

“I have been involved in a lot of good campaigns in a Munster jersey, but this current side lost out to a 53m kick away from home in Welford Road against Leicester and otherwise have a clean sheet.

“They’re on a roll, they’ll be hard to stop. They play for each other and they have real clarity about themselves. It is important they don’t look at the finishing line now. They have to look at winning a home game here and with a crowd like that they have every chance. 

“Having 15 people against 30,000 is something special. Munster have clarity. It feels like the vibe is back.

“There are three nights a year that European rugby comes here and they are special nights. Munster have qualified, they beat us out the door at home.”