Ronan O'Gara: Altitude no excuse for biggest Ireland disappointment in a long time

Ronan O'Gara insists Ireland can't blame altitude for last Saturday's second Test defeat by South Africa. And fears the comeback victory will prove a pivotal confidence boost for the Springboks.

Having experienced playing in those conditions during his career, O'Gara feels attitude rather than altitude was the key factor in Ireland's late collapse in Johannesburg, with a winning position in their grasp. 
And he worries Ireland haven't yet mastered the ability to string successive big performances together.
In his Friday Irish Examiner column, O'Gara writes: "Joe Schmidt and his players should and will be sick after Ellis Park last Saturday. Altitude? No I’ve played there. I don't believe that.
"Whatever happened, no one can dispute it was the biggest disappointment in Irish rugby in a long, long time.
"When you're 19-3 and 26-10 up away from home, with a first test in the bag, and history beckoning, we return to the achilles heel issue: is Ireland a once-off type of team? Schmidt is a Kiwi and they don't do moral victory. Those days are over for Irish rugby.
"South Africa are average but the confidence they got from the last 40 minutes will stand to them tomorrow in Port Elizabeth." 
"The thing with Ireland is they have to get angry.
"These Irish players are so fit and so well managed that fatigue and altitude problems are not legit excuses.
"The body will go where the mind wants it to go."


FOR many of us, health insurance is high on the list of financial products which that we tend to avoid changing out of fear and confusion.Money and Cents: cover all the bases for best health insurance

Anya Taylor-Joy plays the titular Emma in the latest adaptation of Jane Austen’s romantic comedy about the spoilt, meddling matchmaker who means well, says Laura HardingAnya Taylor-Joy: ‘Emma is my little monster’

Setting sail to travel the world as part of your job has a romance all of its own but for marketing manager Máire Cronin and engineer Mark Crowe it led to love.Wedding of the Week: Cruise ship co-workers Máire and Mark sail off into sunset

One of the genres that has seen exponential growth in the podcast world is the sleepcast. Open Spotify on your phone in the evening and a number of offerings are available, writes Eoghan O'SullivanThe Podcast Corner: podcasts that will put you to sleep

More From The Irish Examiner