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O’Gara Issues Rallying Call

O’Gara Issues Rallying Call

Watching his Munster team-mates come within a whisker of a famous win over New Zealand on Tuesday night, Ronan O’Gara was admittedly inspired if not a little envious. The out-half said that the Irish camp can ‘take a lesson’ from that thrilling Thomond Park display.

Speaking at Thursday’s team announcement press conference, Ronan O’Gara was candidly honest about what effect the Munster-New Zealand game had on him and how, in his opinion, it should provide ‘a kick up the ass’ to both him and his Ireland team-mates.

“Irrespective of who we’re playing this weekend, I just think we need to play as a team and play for each other a little bit more,” he said, ahead of Saturday’s crunch clash with Argentina.

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“I don’t think our problems are outside with the opposition. I think we just need to start buying into the Irish jersey a bit more and that’s where it starts for this weekend.

“Having been at the Munster game on Tuesday night, you see what it means to fellas and we can take a lesson out of that.

“It’s a kick up the ass for everybody. We have to start playing with pride again for Ireland.”

While O’Gara and company enjoyed some bright spells against Canada and the All Blacks in recent weeks, Ireland’s number 10 reckons they can take it up a notch and show a lot more passion in their play.

Reflecting on the disappointment of losing 22-3 to the All Blacks, he insisted: “There’s something lacking, I’ve been asking myself all week what is it and I’m struggling for answers.

“(The Munster game) showed with passion what you can achieve. And I think we can learn from that and start playing for each other.

“And if we get ourselves right, we’ll have as good a chance as any other team.”

It is not often that O’Gara gets to spectate at provincial or international matches, but he explained just what a moving experience it was to watch Munster put it up to the tourists at a thronged Thomond Park.

“Just being there was incredible. It was inspiring. I know there was an awful lot of Test players missing for New Zealand but it was still a good team.

“Yeah I was (envious). It was an unbelievable mixture of emotions because you were just more or less in awe of the performance and then you kinda think, in a selfish way, that maybe if you were playing we could have got over the (finish) line – but that’s what the other nine players (missing) were probably thinking too.

“It was just the whole occasion, it was a special night.

“It’s very rare that you’re watching these events because you’re usually in the thick of them. But to stand back, you just have to applaud what went on.”

Turning his focus back on Ireland, O’Gara is adamant that Declan Kidney’s men have the ability to get back into silverware-chasing mode and firstly recover from what was a deflating loss to the world’s number one team.

“At this level, against teams like New Zealand, small things matter. I’m disappointed, we’re all disappointed (with last week’s game) but we have a chance to put that right this weekend and that’s the great thing about Test rugby.

“It’s something we can get right and that’s the confidence we have.

“We have some unbelievable players here. If we back each other, the quality will come out but we need to get stuck in.”