Sunday, June 18, 2006

Ronan O'Gara - Alone he stands

"After several powerful scrums they created enough space for Luke McAlister to click past tackling turnstile Ronan O'Gara and seal the victory.

O'Gara's flaky defence had been a target in Hamilton as well, with McAlister admitting the All Blacks had been unable to isolate him."

The above is an extract from the New Zealand Herald coverage of Ireland's 27-17 defeat by the All Blacks on Saturday.

"Tackling Turnstile" is cruel but hard to dispute and it adds to existing criticism of O'Gara inability to make a break and thus at least tie-in some of the defence to deal with such a threat. Allied to similar limitations with Stringer, it really sets up the two centres as targets once the running option is chosen.

Sadly there are few obvious contenders for the out-half slot and it's unlikely a replacement can be found and groomed before the World Cup next year.

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