O'Gara: Racing second best in heavyweight boxing match


Racing 92 assistant coach Ronan O'Gara says his side were beaten by the better team in a European Champions Cup final he compared to a "heavyweight boxing match".

The Top 14 outfit lost 21-9 to Saracens in a rain-drenched Lyon on Saturday, with Owen Farrell kicking all of the Premiership club's points.

Injuries to Maxime Machenaud and Dan Carter came as a blow to Racing's chances of clawing their way back into the match, but O'Gara - a two-time winner of the Heineken Cup with Munster - did not begrudge Sarries their maiden European crown.

"The better team won and it is extremely disappointing," he said. "At this level it is all about being champions and we weren't good enough.

"We came up against an excellent side and they fully deserved their victory. You can blame one or two dodgy calls and injuries, but that's what building a squad is all about.

"When it came to the crunch we weren't up to it, although we didn't go missing. It was like a heavyweight boxing match, a game of chess, and Owen Farrell didn't miss and he found space exceptionally well.

"When you play against a defence like they have you want the sun and not a slippy ball. And we had neither."

Saracens coach Mark McCall was pleased to put the disappointment of defeat to Toulon in the 2013-14 Heineken Cup final behind him.

"Two years we weren't good enough against Toulon," he commented. "They kept us at arm's length, but I thought that for most of the match we kept Racing at arm's length - I thought we controlled the game.

"[It]  was evidence of how we have grown since two years ago - we learned a lot from that defeat.

"What we said in the week, and it was not just said to take pressure off the team, was that if we stay humble, which we will, and stay hungry, which I know we will, we truly believe there will be more days like this ahead of us."