Monday 20 November 2017

Easterby wary of war on Warriors' patch

LEINSTER have travelled a considerable distance since their last shock Heineken Cup defeat on Scottish soil.

Indeed, that December 2007 loss to Edinburgh before a hollow Murrayfield attendance of barely 3,000 has since been seen as a watershed moment in the evolution of the province. Leinster, despite fielding a team of 14 internationals (flanker Stephen Keogh was the exception), flopped spectacularly against Andy Robinson's side made up of a smattering of internationals and well-intentioned journeymen like Matt Mustchin and Ben Gissing.

Yet, they dismissed Leinster 29-10, adding to the 'chokers' tag that hung from the Irish province's neck at that time. There will be several survivors from that day in Leinster's match-squad to face Glasgow in Firhill on Sunday.

Gordon D'Arcy (hoping to be fit for the weekend) was in the centre, Rob Kearney was on the wing, Leo Cullen and Jamie Heaslip were in pack, while Luke Fitzgerald, Jonathan Sexton and Cian Healy all featured off the bench.

Guy Easterby played scrum-half inside Felipe Contepomi in that defeat and this week the Leinster manager was wary of the threat posed by their latest trip to Scotland.

"It is a huge game for us," said Easterby. "It is massive and they are going into it off a loss to the Scarlets.


"We also realise we are going to have to really up our game. It is Europe. Glasgow, in fairness to them, are playing very well at Firhill.

"They are a really difficult proposition there. Our minds will be focused solely on Glasgow. We are going to have to prepare very well. It won't be easy over there."

Glasgow, although dismissed at the RDS in November when they were without several of their front-liners, are a decent outfit and Firhill will undoubtedly provide a fierier atmosphere than Murrayfield in 2007 (although this could prove less discomfiting than playing in that Edinburgh void).

Their Pro12 progress has been extremely encouraging, seven wins from 13 outings pushing Glasgow into the top four play-off positions, with their defeat away to the Scarlets last weekend ending an unbeaten run that stretched back to September.

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