O’Gara reveals Munster’s ‘Pain in Spain’

Ronan O’Gara and Munster’s dream of reaching a ifth Heineken Cup final is over and the Ireland international has revealed the pain of losing in Spain – again.


Five years after Munster went down at the quarter-final stage at Estadio Anoeta this time they fell short in a semi-final in which they scored the game’s only try.


“It has kind of hit me now – that it has gone for another year, and that is hard to take,” said O’Gara on the ERC Rugby site


“It felt like we were playing in slow motion at times, the pitch was tough going but that is not an excuse because the better team on.


“Maybe we were to happy to play territory and play at their pace, they like to get involved in a slugging fest and that is what we got.


“The times we kept the ball alive we were threatening but they killed the ball quite well and smartly at times and Yachvili kicked the points.


“I can’t really analyse what has gone on – you can talk all day but it is gone.”


Team mate Mick O’Driscoll was equally as blunt and honest as his captain, conceding that “the best 15 players out there on the pitch were from Biarritz – what more can you say.”


“We are very disappointed and frustrated, what killed us was them set piece.We had a couple of bad line-outs, a couple of bad scrums – it just was not good enough,” said O’Driscoll.


Munster coach Tony McGahan admitted his side had made mistakes on the big day and was unhappy at losing out on another trip to the showpiece occasion.


“It is very difficult to put into words just how we all feel – losing two Heineken Cup semi-finals on the trot is two wasted opportunities of getting to the final,” he said.


“We had the players to get the result but we came up short and Biarritz were simply tremendous in all aspects of their forward play.


“In the big matches and in the tight matches you have to get everything right on the day and we haven’t done that.


“Biarritz played a very clever game in the second half and there set piece was very good but we shut up shop which didn’t give us any sort of solid platform.


“And the set piece was a concern all day, they dominated that area and there lies momentum, there lies momentum and there lies plenty of other things.


“We needed to recognise we were the ones in front and we needed to go for field positions but se simply did not have the forward platform.”

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