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Thursday 25 May 2017

Byrne has 'ice in his veins'

Ross Byrne
Ross Byrne

No one knows Ross Byrne better than Dan Leavy.

They shared in the glory of St Michael's College second Leinster Schools Senior Cup win in 2012.

"He's got ice in his veins than man," said the flanker.

"I've got full confidence in him. I've played with him for years.

"If there is anyone to slot into a situation and handle the pressure, he's the man.

"As long as I've played with him, he has always been confident in his ability.

"He has always been calm and collected, almost more so than any other player I've played with before."

Looking back to last Friday, there are moments in games when you know the war is being won.

The sight of Louis Picamoles being withdrawn early was the first sign of the tide definitively turning at Franklin's Gardens.

"He is a talisman for them," said Leinster number eight Jack Conan.

"He leads The Premiership in offloads. He is very talented.

"They obviously had (Teimana) Harrison to come on, an adequate replacement in anyone's eyes.

"But, to see someone like that go off, it is a boost."

The red card for Dylan Hartley was another body blow and the call of the resilient Tom Wood the final psychological nail in Northampton's coffin.

"We knew we had to go over there and front up physically.

"They have some big men, some big ball carriers, Picamoles, (Courtney) Lawes, the likes of those lads.

"We kept the pressure on, kept on building and it showed in the end that we broke them."

Leinster have to do it all over again.

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