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Highlights on Off The Ball

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Highlights on Off The Ball

La Rochelle head coach Ronan O'Gara has spoken about his reaction to drawing Leinster in the upcoming Heineken Champions Cup semi-finals.

Leo Cullen's Leinster were drawn to travel to Stade Marcel-Deflandre, with the game to take place on Sunday, May 2nd in France.

O'Gara's outfit impressively saw off Sale 45-21 in their last-eight tie, while Leinster were 12-point winners away to reigning champions Exeter Chiefs on Saturday last.

"The first thought was hopefully you were first or third out of the drum, that's what you're looking for", remarked O'Gara on this morning's OTB AM with Adrian and Eoin.

"And obviously it's home advantage with a big asterisk, but it makes it easier.

"I mean the thought of going to the RDS is a lot more difficult than the thought of receiving, even without the public.

"When it was Leinster it was like 'Ooh, okay.' That's where we are now, it's us or them going to a final, so how exciting is that?"

O'Gara says having played against Leinster so often during his own playing career won't be of much use to him in his research this time around.

"I don't know them that well, obviously I knew them as a player but that's so long ago, and everything has moved on. And that might be an error to presume I know them.

"I've watched a few of their games but I wouldn't say I've studied their games. You have to build as much information as you can about them. But that's them, and my focus all season has been us and the challenges involved in that.

"You may get a few breakthroughs by studying them, but we know how consistently good Leinster are. The reality is you can spend an awful lot of time coming up with one powerplay to dissect them with, but also how do we get speed in our game or how do we get us passing with accuracy? That has to remain a fundamental of our performance."

The Corkman added that he will be hoping for more focus from his players in training in the coming weeks.

"Training after the Sale game wasn't good... [It was] skills errors, concentration levels, giddyness. We've got limited time on the pitch so you have to make that count.

"Reviewing the video afterwards and saying 'I should have done this and that', you've kind of missed the moment there, you've missed the opportunity to get better, the opportunity to grow, to add a layer into your performance."

The other Champions Cup semi-final will be an all-French affair, as Toulouse will Bordeaux-Begles.

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Champions Cup La Rochelle Leinster Leo Cullen Ronan O'Gara Rugby

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