Ronan O'Gara's reacted to his player rating scores just like we all would 2 years ago

Ronan O'Gara's reacted to his player rating scores just like we all would

Player ratings. The players often say they don't read them but two former Ireland internationals confess they most definitely did.

Invariably subjective, often posted minutes after a match, ratings provide genuine talking points. They laud the instant heroes and highlight the players that did not hit the heights.

Ronan O'Gara and Kevin McLaughlin toldĀ The Hard Yards how ratings were a massive part of their careers and how they perceived their own performances [from 38:40 below]. "It was the first thing I'd go to after a game," McLauglin remarked, "and anyone who says otherwise is lying!"

O'Gara, in particular, went to some wild extremes off the back of good, or bad, ratings.

"The first thing I'd do was you might go home a treat yourself on as Saturday night - have a burger and go to bed," said O'Gara.

"Then I'd get up and I'd have to get milk for the cereal. You don't have to get milk for the cereal, you're going to get the Sunday papers to see what they rated you.

"If the journalist gave you an eight, you'd kinda come running back to the house, onto the floor and skid on the double knees."

"Lads, ye laugh all ye want," O'Gara scolded as he recalled a time both himself and his Ireland team- and room-mate Guy Easterby got 5/20.

Receiving a poor rating often led to an entirely different reaction from O'Gara.

"I actually rang up one or two journalists and said 'I disagree with that'," said O'Gara.

It was a practice he gave up as he settled into his own skin as a professional rugby player.

"I learned a long time ago, if you give a fella a bollicking what do you achieve? You feel great about yourself for 10 minutes but what message have you given? It doesn't work like that."