Ronan O’Gara praised JJ Hanrahan for his performance against Racing 92, despite missing the late drop-goal attempt that could have won Munster the match.
The former Munster player was on Off The Ball and explained why it can be so difficult nailing match-winning drop goals.
“Once the defence is in a set position - in the starting blocks position, where they’re in sprint position - it makes you change your technique because by the time you get the pass you’ve got the ball in the air and the advantage is with the defence.
“But once you actually have a maul going forward or any bit of a forward carry - the unexpected factor, Johnny [Sexton] against France in Stade de France, he fooled everyone.
“That was probably more of a distance issue. But once it comes in, you know there’s only one thing. But he just got it on the inside of his foot. It can easily happen. That happens,” O’Gara said.
The La Rochelle head coach was confident however that Hanrahan would step up to the plate again if the occasion arises.
“I’d have loved to see JJ [Hanrahan] do that because he’s had a fair bit of adversity and that kick from the touchline was brilliant. I think, from a very selfish point of view, it’s why you do all the extras.
“The 20 minutes at the end of every team session and then why your day off is taken up with that. That’s for moments like that. But when you keep knocking on the door the door will knock down eventually. He’ll get it the next time,” O’Gara said.
‘Another perfect example of why their record is so good at Thomond Park’
Munster were second best for large periods of the game against the Parisians, yet it was the home side who had the chance to win it late.
“Looking at it you thought Racing could easily be 20 points clear. That’s the beauty of Munster. You literally have to keep your foot on the throat and stamp on them because you won’t knock them out.
“They had no right to even draw that game. They’ll be disappointed probably that they didn’t win the game. But all credit to them for hanging in there. They were on the ropes on so many occasions.
“You saw the class of [Juan] Imhoff, you saw the class of Teddy Thomas. But Munster, and their supporters, just refused to die. That was another perfect example of why they have such a good record in Thomond Park,” O’Gara said.
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