Monday 20 November 2017

Leinster out to slay the Dragons

The scrum and discipline will be important areas to Cullen

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen

It’s that time already. That’s right. Payback.

Leinster will stride out to confront The Dragons at the RDS tomorrow with a chip the size of McDonald’s on their shoulder.

They have been beaten at home just once since Munster got into them at the Aviva last October.

It came at the hands of the unheralded and unfancied Dragons in February.

It was during the infamous Six Nations window that Matt O’Connor’s men dropped the ball in more ways than one. 

Two months later, the Welsh club completed the double over Leinster in what was the final nail to end their fight for the Top-4.

“Well I suppose you have more respect for them,” said flanker Dominic Ryan.

“You also have a bit more venom in that you want to owe them one having being beaten twice by them last season.

“The home game hurt quite a bit, you know,” he added.

“We pride ourselves on winning in The RDS and we lost to the Dragons, who at the time were quite below us.

“Come the end of the season in a game like that, getting into the Top-4 actually, it means it could have been the difference especially when you lose by a point.”

Ultimately, the Professional Games Board took a long-term view and promoted Leo Cullen to head coach.

Envy of Europe

The former decorated captain has tried to bring back the cultural values that made Leinster the envy of Europe.

It all starts with setting standards, playing to them and taking nothing, or no one, for granted.

“I think our set-piece, our line-out and scrum need to be good,” said Ryan.

“The Dragons have a good scrum when they get it right.”

It isn’t the only area in need of care and attention.

“I think from the first two rounds of the PRO12, we need to get our discipline right.

“We gave Cardiff 15 points and Edinburgh as well, so we’re going to focus big time on it.”

Leinster v Dragons, tomorrow, live TG4 (2.30)

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