New Zealand v Ireland, Hamilton
O'Gara laughs off Hansen dig
ESPN Staff
June 19, 2012
Ireland fly-half Ronan O'Gara is all smiles as his side are welcomed to Queenstown, New Zealand, September 1, 2011
Ronan O'Gara could start Saturday's Test © Getty Images
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Ronan O'Gara has laughed off comments from New Zealand boss Steve Hansen after he claimed that Ireland had reached their peak in their second Test defeat.

Ireland pushed the All Blacks to the limit last Saturday when the World Cup winners had Dan Carter to thank after he slotted a last minute drop-goal to take the Test 22-19. Hansen in the aftermath claimed that that was about as close as Ireland will come to defeating the Kiwis but O'Gara has dismissed that claim.

"A lot of that, you can read into it after an event. You could say that it is condescending but I don't think it was meant like that," O'Gara said. "We all speak with emotions sometimes and that was what Steve felt at the time. I would have no problem with that."

O'Gara revealed that Ireland's poor performance in the first Test at Eden Park, when they lost 42-10, had shaken the squad but was pleased with their response.

"Ireland did play well the other night," he said. "The All Blacks were probably in second gear and they had every reason to be in second gear because of the way we played at Eden Park. It is only natural.

"Steve was probably relieved to get over the finish line as you could see an edge to them. When Dan Carter kicked the drop goal, you don't often see that with the All Blacks, so you could see what it meant to them. Fair play to them. They squeezed out a winning position from, probably, an un-winnable position with a man in the bin. That is what they deserve all the credit for."

O'Gara may start the third Test with Gordon D'Arcy sidelined. Jonathan Sexton could move to inside centre with O'Gara taking the fly-half berth.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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