La Rochelle head coach Ronan O’Gara will appear before a disciplinary hearing on December 6th after he was cited following the European champions 32-10 defeat to Racing 92 in a French Top 14 clash at the La Defense Arena in Paris over the weekend.
The Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR) revealed in its weekly disciplinary bulletin that the Irishman would be called to account after the match officials reported his behaviour “that was likely to constitute an infringement of the General Regulations of the LNR and FFR.” O’Gara will appear before the Disciplinary and Regulations Commission.
Referee Adrien Descottes and his assistants drew the ire of the La Rochelle coaching cadre to a point where they sought clarification on several decisions after the match. La Rochelle backs’ coach Sebastien Boboul said when questioned by the media: “I will avoid broaching the subject this evening.”
La Rochelle, who suffered a fifth defeat in eight games, had wing Teddy Thomas sent off for a dangerous tackle on Nolann Le Garrec but that decision wasn’t disputed.
According to the respected France based journalist James Harrington, the La Rochelle coaches were angered by “some refereeing decisions during the match, notably after Racing winger Juan Imhoff appeared to play the ball illegally, preventing Judicael Cancoriet from scoring.”
O’Gara has been a periodic and outspoken critic of the standard of officiating in the French Top 14, one that has earned him several reprimands and a cumulative total of 20 weeks in suspensions, highlighting a spikey relationship with French rugby authority, both referring and disciplinary.
It’s a little over a year ago that he received his heaviest censure, a 10-week touchline ban, following comments made to the Top 14′s head of referees. He previously incurred suspensions in November 2021 (two weeks) following a match against Toulon, April 2022 (two weeks) after a game against Racing 92 and six weeks in the wake of a match against Lyon at the start of the 2022-2023 season.
He also had a touchline run-in with the then Bordeaux-Begles coach Christophe Urios in April, 2022 with both of them subsequently warned by the French rugby authorities. O’Gara said at the time: “I’m a young coach and I talk a lot and I like my players to hear me on the pitch. His [Urios’] reaction shows how tense the game was, but it’s over, and we move on. It’s nothing big, it’s just rugby.”
O’Gara has not been suspended pending the hearing and so will be free to take charge of La Rochelle’s final Top 14 match against Perpignan before they begin the defence of their European title against the team they beat in last year’s final at the Aviva Stadium, Leinster, on Sunday, December 10th.
Read More: Ronan O’Gara faces new disciplinary hearing ahead of Leinster clash – The Irish 2023-11-29 13:24:51