Ronan O’Gara is poised to become the first player to break through the 1000-point barrier in the Heineken Cup when Munster take on Clermont Auvergne at Thomond Park on Saturday.
The Munster marksman needs just seven more to reach four figures in the competition. His 993 points, already a Heineken Cup record, have so far come in 78 tournament matches at an average of 12.73 points a game.
O’Gara’s current total is made up of eight tries, 133 conversions, 216 penalty goals and 13 drop goals.
Incredibly, he has scored in his last 61 appearances for the reigning Heineken Cup champions. The last time he finished a match without getting on the scoreboard was in the 18-5 defeat at Bath on October 28, 2000.
Previewing Saturday’s Pool 1 clash, Munster captain Paul O’Connell said: “We were looking for a win last week in Clermont and were of course disappointed not to get it but we know that the losing bonus point could make all the difference at the end of the pool stages.
“Having said that, if we don’t go and beat them this weekend in the return fixture then that losing bonus point will count for nothing.
“And we’ll need to look at a lot of things this week. There were a few issues in the scrum and we were disappointed with the number of penalties we conceded in the away leg.
“We pride ourselves on our discipline which we think is one of the strongest parts of our game.
“However, we’ve also taken some good points from the match. We had a strong first half and did some things very well, at times we defended exactly how we wanted to.
“Rog (Ronan O’Gara) was solid as a rock in terms of his kicking. The pressure penalty at the end to give us the losing bonus point was massively important and could make the difference in a few weeks time.”
O’Connell added: “We know that Clermont’s away form has not been great but obviously we can’t rely on that. Every game in the pool is vitally important and we are only halfway through.
“And this pool is wide open. Sale did well to get a bonus point on Friday night so it’s going to be very tough for us.
“We’re still right in the mix so it’s in our hands – we just need to get it right this weekend.”