herald

Thursday 19 October 2017

McFadden not looking for any excuses

Leinster in need of some home comfort at RDS fortress

Fergus McFadden was one of two - the other was Tom Denton - to be whistled offside in the final blow to Leinster's effort to win a game they had no right to in Glasgow.

The conspiracy theorists were out in force when it was pointed out that the decision to award the penalty for the winning points was given by Scottish referee Neil Patterson, active as a tough judge on the night.

The camera angle was inconclusive. McFadden wasn't: "Yeah, it was probably a penalty, given for offside, and they kicked it".

The Kildare man did not want to get embroiled in an incident that was gone and killed the conversation stone dead with his 'mea culpa'.

This is an environment where mistakes are made by players and officials.

DWELL

The only option is to move on. The games come too thick and fast to dwell on the rights and wrongs.

"In the balance of things, we didn't deserve to win the game," he said.

"All in all, it was probably a lesson learned. We lose out on three points rather than brush it under the carpet with a win from playing very poorly, you know.

"There were a couple of positives. But, in general, for sixty minutes, we were second best. That's what hurts the most. We knew they were going to come out of the blocks, considering how we beat them in the final last season.

"I don't think we were mentally prepared for it in that first forty, mentally or physically, and it showed on the scoreboard," he claimed, citing missed tackles and system errors as the main bones of contention.

"Going in at half-time, to come away with one point would have been okay.

"It was just disappointing, after putting ourselves in a winning position, to let it slip".

Glasgow is gone. The Scarlets are to come. There are more similarities than differences in what Leinster will encounter back at what McFadden called "fortress" RDS.

PUNISH

"If we play like that for forty minutes against the Scarlets, they will punish us.

"They are quite similar in style to Glasgow with their running and offload game.

"They will do damage if you miss tackles against them. We will have to be wary of that this week."

The nature of the PRO 12 is fast-paced, on and off the pitch, as it blossoms, at least on paper, with the advent of Guinness as headline sponsors, the hype machine that is Sky Sports and the mandatory qualification system for the Rugby Champions Cup put in place this season.

The pressure doubles up for Leinster as they set about preventing a second successive loss which would put them on the backfoot very early into the season.

"Listen, we're in pressure situations, individually and collectively, every day. It is a pleasure going out in front of a packed RDS and if there is pressure, it is also a novelty to get the jersey for those games".

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