herald

Monday 18 December 2017

Blues chase higher standards and points

Matt O'Connor
Matt O'Connor

Coach Matt O'Connor (right) made no bones about the fact Leinster will have to improve out of all recognition against Zebre (KO7.35, TG4).

"The performance that we put out at the RDS last week was unacceptable. That's the reality of it," he said.

"The pain and frustration that's been in the environment off the back of not being good enough hopefully drives us in the right direction."

"The reality of it was that we beat ourselves. That's been the focus of the week, to rectify those things and make sure that it doesn't happen again."

The release of tight-head Martin Moore in the name of game time is designed to cause maximum damage to the Italians.

"We need to win. We need to play as well as can and get as many points as we can.

"If we're talking about finishing in the top two, there aren't many opportunities left," added O'Connor.

Scrum-half Eoin Reddan could well be playing for a place on the bench against England and the same could be said of Luke Fitzgerald and Dominic Ryan.

Leinster: Z Kirchner; F McFadden, B Te'o, G D'Arcy, L Fitzgerald; J Gopperth, E Reddan; M Bent, A Dundon, M Moore, M McCarthy, K Douglas, D Ryan, S Jennings (capt), J Conan.

Zebre: H Daniller; D Berryman, Mirco Bergamasco, M Pratichetti, M Visentin; L Orquera, B Leonard; A de Marchi, O Fabiani, L Leibson, V Bernabo, M Sutto, J Sutto, Mauro Bergamasco, S Vunisa.

Verdict: Leinster

PRO12: LEINSTER V ZEBRE

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