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Friday 17 August 2018

Marmion makes a strong case

Young Connacht scrumhalf Kieran Marmion could not have made a bigger impression on Irish coach Joe Schmidt last week when he scored what was to be the telling blow in their historic 10-9 win over Leinster.

Marmion (below), who burst onto the scene last year, is a fine prospect in an area where Ireland are already blessed for young talent in such a crucial position.

A famous American coach once said when asked about his player's execution that night: "I am all for it!"

Leinster will again kick themselves, and a bit like Glasgow in week one, they simply did not take their chances where they were presented. They are just not clinical enough.

Time after time, Leinster put themselves into excellent scoring positions but failed to convert via some silly mistakes. Connacht on the other hand, as they had against Edinburgh, continued to believe that if they could just stay in the game and within one score of the champions, they could win.

It was another frustrating night for the Blues, who created more than enough chances to win pulling up, and while they have two losing bonus points on the road, they will still be bitterly disappointed in the execution of their game-plan.

This weekend, at home, it becomes another must-win game for them, and given the fact that the visitors Cardiff have only managed one win here in 10 years and are struggling to score tries at the moment, Leinster should not only be going after a win, but a five-point haul.

Leinster need to be more patient in their build-up. They are too often rushing or forcing the last pass, when they need to be more clinical and mistake free in the opposition red zone. Keep it simple.

Last week I found it a hard game to call, this week it must be Leinster with a bonus point victory.

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