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03rd May 2022

Toulouse coach slams French media after sideline antics with Ronan O’Gara

Patrick McCarry

Ronan O'Gara

It was the wee wink at the end that told you Ugo Mola knee exactly what he was up to.

Ronan O’Gara rarely backs down when words are there to be shared, and so it proved again at the weekend as his La Rochelle side lost at Toulouse, but managed to get a losing bonus point.

Not long back from a spell away from the touchline, after a spat with Bordeaux coach Christophe Urios, last month, O’Gara was prowling intently as his side sought a go-ahead try.

The first half between Toulouse and La Rochelle was played at a rapid pace, and the visitors nudged ahead on the scoreboard, twice, before Thibaud Flament careened through a gap in the yellow defensive lines and put the reigning champions 14-10 ahead.

Thomas Ramos and Ihaia West traded penalties, thereafter, and the score was 20-16 when, with 15 minutes remaining, Ugo Mola and Ronan O’Gara gave each other a verbal going over. Mola will have been aware of the O’Gara to-do with Urios, so it was no surprise to see him winking back at his coach staff after the pair traded words.

Ugo Mola takes a cut off CANAL +

Toulouse ended up winning the game 23-16 to see them leapfrog La Rochelle into sixth place [the final spot for the end-of-season playoffs]. All sides now have two games left, home and away, and there are only 10 points separating first and eighth in the Top 14 standings.

Following the game, Mola took an almighty cut at broadcasters CANAL + for what he deemed to be unfair commentary and analysis.

The French giants are defending the Top 14 title and European Cup and have several players that were off helping France a Grand Slam during the Six Nations window, during which some league games were played.

Mola let rip in a post-game interview and said the comments of certain CANAL + pundits – saying how tough Toulouse would find it to make the playoffs – had provided extra motivation to his side.

Toulouse face Biarritz and Brive in their final two league games, after facing off against Munster in the Champions Cup quarter final, this Saturday.

Ronan O’Gara and La Rochelle have Stade Francais at home then travel top Lyon for their final two regular season fixtures.

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