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Master Craftsman
O'Gara The Master Marksman
2 February 2010, 3:38 pm
By Rob Cole Westgate Sports Agency
Where would Irish rugby have been over the past decade without Ronan O'Gara? The Munster points machine hoisted his RBS 6 Nations and Championship points record through the 500 barrier with his 16 point contribution to Ireland's opening day victory over Italy last weekend as he scored in his 31st successive 6 Nations match.
His 386 points over those 31 games have not only helped Ireland to win their first Grand Slam in 61 years, as well as Triple Crowns in 2004, 2006 and 2007, but have accounted for 49.7% of his side's points over 23 wins and 8 defeats.

His record tally of 515 points in the RBS 6 Nations means he is 81 points clear of Jonny Wilkinson in second place and the two legendary outside halves look set to do battle once again for the title of the RBS 6 Nations leading points scorer.

After Round 1, the Munster marksman is a point ahead of his English rival and between them the two players have led the RBS 6 Nations points scoring table for each of the last five years - and in nine of the Championships in the tournament's opening decade.

But it is not just for Ireland that O'Gara shines. Where would Munster have been in Europe without their star turn? O'Gara's Heineken Cup record of 1,123 points contains 913 that have been scored in his past 72 matches in the tournament.

You have to go back to 28 October, 2000 for the last time he failed to score for Munster in a Heineken Cup game - at Bath when the home side won 18-5 and he has only missed three of the 75 games played by Munster in the tournament in that time.

Not a bad record - scoring in 103 consecutive games for club and country in the top two tournaments in the professional game in the northern hemisphere.
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