Monday 18 December 2017

O'Connor: Blues have to be foot perfect for final five

Matt O'Connor
Matt O'Connor

Leinster coach Matt O'Connor stacked 15 high with internationals in order to move into serious play-off contention in the PRO12 League.

More than one individual had the gold medal of the Ireland-Wales international hanging there.

That was a side issue.

This was all about taking care of club business. There was every motivation in the world for Leinster to find form from an unimpressive three-match stretch which yielded a loss to The Dragons, a win at home to Zebre and a draw at The Ospreys.

Instead, the champions joined Irish provinces Connacht and Munster on a Welsh scrapheap with a hap-hazard, pass-happy, horribly inaccurate 23-13 defeat to The Scarlets. "We're out of chances," said O'Connor, in an honest assessment.

"We've got some massive games, five in the League and a European quarter-final, we've got to make sure that we get right.

"It is pretty important now, with a couple of weeks off, to make sure that we regroup and get the right result against Glasgow," said O'Connor.

"That will help to build a little bit of momentum into the European quarter-final," added O'Connor.

Where Leinster had taken 19-from-20 points from this block of games last season, they have fallen to nine-from-20 this season and out of a play-off place to stand fifth.

That 10-point drop-off makes all the difference between holding most of the aces and no aces at all. "There's nothing to panic about," stated O'Connor, whose experience will be vital in the weeks ahead.

"We've got a break.

"We've got a lot of boys in the Irish squad with two huge games to play for them.

"Hopefully, we'll get the boys in a good frame of mind to crank it up for the run-in," concluded Leinster's head coach.


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