Gutted O'Gara mum over retirement

Sun, 28 Apr 2013 13:03
Large ronano garamunstergutted Large clermont v munster3 Large ronano garamunstercheer

Ronan O'Gara remained mum over whether he will retire following his Munster’s 10-16 European Cup semifinal loss to Clermont on Saturday.

Munster legend Ronan O'Gara remained mum over whether he will retire following his team’s 10-16 European Cup semifinal loss to Clermont on Saturday.

O’Gara's record 10th semifinal may not have ended in victory, but the 36-year-old proved he can still mix it with the best at Stade de la Mosson.

As well as a penalty and conversion, O'Gara conjured up Munster's try with a brilliant grubber kick and almost guided his side into a fifth Final.

"Defeat is extremely hard to take after you have put so much into a game like that. But it is winner takes all in a semifinal," admitted O'Gara.

"This is an unbelievable competition and it was an incredible atmosphere. It was a fantastic occasion to be a part of, but the only reason we play is to win.

"There was some serious resilience from Munster and I am proud to be a part of the team. Someone said to me earlier in the week that Clermont would beat the French team and it was Test match intensity out there.

"We are growing and getting better as a team, but we gave them too much of a start. When we come away from home you ask for character from a team and we certainly showed that - we gave our all."

At the end of the game O'Gara, who has now scored 1,365 points in 110 European Cup games going back to his debut against Harlequins in 1997, walked around the Stade de la Mosson pitch saluting the magnificent Munster fans with his son in his arms.

That promoted the question as to whether or not this might be the final European outing for the 36-year-old legend. It was a topic he was quick to sidestep after the game.

"It's not the time for me to be thinking or talking about retirement. I owed it to my teammates to be totally focused on the game today and I was," he added.

"I love coming to France and playing and this competition have given me the best memories. I will sleep on it until the end of the season, but it will be hard to leave this beauty [turning to Paul O'Connell] on his own next season."

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Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 22
Saracens 6 4 0 2 17
Munster 6 3 0 3 15
Sale Sharks 5 0 0 5 2
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 6 4 1 1 20
Wasps 6 3 1 2 18
Harlequins 6 4 0 2 18
Castres 6 0 0 6 1
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Toulon 6 5 0 1 22
Leicester Tigers 6 3 0 3 13
Ulster 6 2 0 4 12
Scarlets 6 2 0 4 8
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Bath 6 4 0 2 19
Toulouse 6 4 0 2 17
Glasgow Warriors 6 3 0 3 15
Montpellier 6 1 0 5 6
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Racing Metro 6 5 1 0 24
Northampton Saints 6 4 0 2 19
Ospreys 6 1 1 4 9
Treviso 6 1 0 5 4