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Tuesday 14 August 2018

Blues lose again as injury crisis gets worse

GLASGOW Warriors took away Leinster's 28-match unbeaten home record 23-19 at The RDS on Saturday and, in doing so, condemned Leinster to their second defeat in three PRO12 League matches.

Coach Joe Schmidt is in familiar territory. He started his first season at Leinster with three losses in his first four. He must now take his callow squad to The Scarlets next Saturday to prevent the same sorry start.

The loss through ankle injuries of Ireland international Kevin McLaughlin and flanker Dominic Ryan brings to 23 the number of Leinster players who have been taken away by the World Cup or the shadow of injury.

Quite simply, there is little or nothing he can do to repair the damage done: "I can't see anyone coming back for next week, Shane Horgan, Andrew Conway, Steven Sykes, obviously Mat Berquist," he said.

"It is testing the depth. We're just going to have to delve a little deeper and find some more lads out of the Academy to fill spots," he said.

"We are trying to keep some sort of balance between guys who are learning a lot and guys who they can learn off really. It is a juggling act.

"At the moment, we are a young side. We're making the errors of youth as well, especially when we've got a team under pressure.

"I thought we played a lot of good footie, to be honest."

The normally unflappable Schmidt was on the point of losing control over what he saw as the sub-standard refereeing of Scotsman Andrew McMenemy.

"I know it doesn't seem like that on the scoreboard," said Schmidt. "But there was a lot of slowing the ball down, a lot of frustration around the ruck area. We knew we were going to get that with the guy we had tonight.

"We've got to be good enough to play above that."

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