Ronan O'Gara wins Super Rugby title in first season with Crusaders

Ronan O'Gara wins Super Rugby title in first season with Crusaders
Crusaders' assistant coaches Jason Ryan and Ronan O'Gara celebrate winning with Ryan Crotty. Pic: INPHO/Photosport/John Davidson

Ronan O'Gara has won the Super Rugby title in his first season as a coach with Crusaders.

The New Zealanders defeated South Africa's Lions in this morning's final, 37-18 - a 16th consecutive win of the season to seal a ninth Super Rugby title.

Despite having to soak up plenty of Lions attacks, tries from Seta Tamanivalu and David Havili gave the Christchurch hosts a comfortable 20-6 platform at half-time.

Further tries from Mitchell Drummond and Scott Barrett ensured back-to-back titles for the southern hemisphere's most successful club side.

O'Gara, an assistant backs coach, had previously won the French Top 14 as a coach with Racing 92, who also finished as Champions Cup runners-up twice during his tenure.

He was also part of the Ireland squad as a skills coach for their 2017 Summer Tour.

Crusaders' Tim Batmand and assistant coach Ronan O'Gara celebrate winning. Pic: INPHO/Photosport/John Davidson
Crusaders' Tim Batmand and assistant coach Ronan O'Gara celebrate winning. Pic: INPHO/Photosport/John Davidson

"[These] eight months have changed me as a person every bit as much as developing my coaching skillset," he wrote in his Irish Examiner column on Friday.

"It’s a big thing to say, but operating in the Crusader environment has entirely altered my thought process as an individual."

He continued: "It’s been almost weird being a sidecar passenger on your own development, knowing it’s happening but being too focused to stop and admire it. I’ve never been involved in such an intensely focused campaign of rugby as this one.

"Amid the incessant demands and the frenetic nature of week-on-week pro sport, everything seems to be crystal clear. It’s strange.

"We were 29 points down at home to the Waratahs in one seminal moment and won the game. Ever since, it’s felt like ‘we can sort this’."

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