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04th Sep 2023

Ronan O’Gara issues scathing response following unsavoury pushing incident

Rory Fleming

Ronan O'Gara

ROG didn’t hold anything back here…

Ronan O’Gara has issued a response to last weekend’s viral incident which saw the La Rochelle boss pushed by Clermont Auvergne fly-half Benjamin Urdapilleta.

The Munster legend had been stood just outside his technical area on the sidelines, before slowly retreating as a clearance kick made its way towards touch.

O’Gara stood his ground, preventing Urdapilleta from catching the ball for a quick line out, which the Argentinian clearly took exception to, pushing the former Munster fly-half a number of times.

Speaking after the game, the Clermont player refused to apologise, saying;

“With adrenaline, I sometimes have some excesses. He (Ronan O’Gara) is clever, I think he did it on purpose to prevent us receiving the ball. At the time of the action, we were behind in the score so it was complicated. But that’s sport, it can happen. Once the match is over, we forget.”

Ronan O’Gara calls out absence of apology:

Reacting to the incident in a press conference, the La Rochelle boss admitted to being “a little shocked” by Urdapilleta’s actions.

Going on to call out the Argentine for showing a lack of respect both during the exchange and in his post-match comments, O’Gara said;

“He wanted to play quickly so it happens, but I was in my zone. He pushed me twice, right? It’s weird… I know I’m no angel, but there’s respect, and tonight I think we crossed the line.

“It has no place in our sport. But a card? It’s not possible either, because it’s for the players against the players, not between the players and the staff.”

Not known for holding anything back on or off the pitch, O’Gara concluded his response with a cutting final remark, making reference to Urdapilleta’s World Cup omission from Michael Cheika’s Los Pumas squad;

“It’s a disappointment, he didn’t have the class to apologise. I understand, he’s frustrated because he won’t be playing in the World Cup. That’s how it is.”

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