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Friday 9 December 2016

Leinster boss Leo Cullen takes comfort from first home win

Leo Cullen
Leo Cullen

Leo Cullen's calm outward appearance will be tested over his reign at Leinster.

The coach is starting out on a career path that can resemble a rural road in the potholes that are certain to appear ahead.

The first win was a priority and it was achieved against Cardiff (23-15) for a return of five points from two games.

He probably would have taken that two weeks ago.

"It was far from perfect, I guess, out there," he said.

"But, to be behind with 15 minutes to go, the lads showed good character."

Coach Cullen will take that and move on in three weeks time at home to last year's demons The Dragons.

"It is nice to get off the mark with a win," he stated.

"When we get back, we've got to knuckle down because Dragons are a very tricky team to play against."

The Welsh club won't be hurt too much by World Cup defections.

"We need to make sure that we're as well-prepared as possible going into that game."

He won't have to nurse too many injuries at the moment, Fergus McFadden exiting with nothing more severe than cramp.

This period is primarily about staying in touch with the leaders and unearthing one or two bodies which show they are ready.

For example, Josh van der Flier was able to go toe-to-toe with Josh Navidi and come out the better for it.

"We are a youthful group, it is fair to say," said Cullen.

"Everyone is pushing in the same direction, which is important."

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