Coaching with Ronan O’Gara

Click the attached link to read a short article in the Irish Independent by Tony Ward on May 21st 2013 about the coaching session.

Jack Stafford

Recently two lucky Glenstal boys received a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend a day coaching with Munster, Ireland and Lions legend Ronan O’Gara. I was fortunate to have been one of the two lucky chosen ones. Ben Healy was the other.

We departed from Glenstal at 9.00am and arrived at Musgrave Park at 10.30am. Soon after we were met by Ronan O’Gara and the session began. Ronan gave the both of us helpful tips and advice on how to perfect our kicking routine and technique.

Ronan kindly answered the questions we posed to him. ROG didn’t mind like laughing at the image of an “old monk” Br. Denis, our ballboy for the day, who chased after rugby balls to return them to us…even with his gammy knee.

At the end of the session Ronan was impressed with our overall kicking skills after he had observed our kicking out-of-hand and off-the-tee conversions.

Then Ronan surprised us by asking us to arrange to see him again during the summer to do another coaching session. He gave us a rugby ball each to practice our skills until he sees us again in five weeks.

Both myself and Ben are very grateful to Killian Hurley who organised this great opportunity for us. We are sure that this session and subsequent ones with Ronan will be of great benefit to Ben and I and in turn, we can guarantee these sessions will reap rewards for Glenstal rugby in the coming years.

Ben Healy

 On the 13th of May Jack Stafford, Denis and I set off for Cork for a kicking lesson with Ronan O’Gara. We left at 9.00am hoping to be there at eleven o clock.

We arrived in Cork 10 minutes early and took a warm up. It was a warm but breezy and rainy day but the pitch (Musgrave Park) was in great nick.

Ronan arrived a few minutes later and asked us is there anything particular to work on. I said that I just want to work on everything and I think Jack said pretty much the same. He asked had we warmed up, we said yes and then we got straight into it.

One thing that surprized me was that Ronan did not get involved in the kicking himself.  He just watched and observed, giving us tips every now and again.

We started by punting the ball into each others chests from a short distance. We then moved on to a few spirals from a distance of about 30 to 35 meters

Once that was done we went and had a few kicks at goal. He looked at our techniques and changed one or two little things which made a big difference for both of us.

When we stopped the kicking session we  stood for a photo of the three of us. Ronan gave Jack a Rabodirect match ball and a Heineken Cup match ball for me. He said that he would like to coach us again sometime in the summer.

When we got back to Limerick we went to the Delish Cafe, a favouite eating place for the Munster team and had a bite to eat. We stayed there for about 20 minutes and then headed back to Glenstal at about 3:30.

It was a great day out and one I will always remember. I would lastly like to thank Killian Hurley for providing this opportunity for us.