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Thursday 16 August 2018

Schmidt urges Blues to show their mettle

It would seem Munster are well clear of the jostling for the all-important second place in the Magners League and the right to stage the second home semi-final out of the top four clubs that will qualify for the play-offs.

Dai Young's Cardiff Blues made heavy work of rising above Leinster -- the Irish province denied 15 players for one reason or another -- into second in the league on the back of an error-infested 11-3 win in Wales on Saturday evening.

Leinster dropped from second to fourth in the space of 80 minutes due to The Ospreys bonus-point 34-18 hiding of Treviso in Italy.

Coach Joe Schmidt has to keep an eye on those ahead of him, The Scarlets, one point back, and Ulster, five points removed with a game-in-hand, just underneath.

"We've got to maintain our standard. The fact that we are down 15 players would indicate that this is a difficult time of the year, but it's like that for a number of teams in the league," he said.

Every point will count in the endgame. The greatest frustration for Schmidt was in not holding onto a losing point that was within Leinster's grasp until a 76th-minute penalty from Ceri Sweeney.

"It was particularly disappointing to lose out on the bonus point at the end.

"We have to pick ourselves up and resume the scramble for points next weekend."



clean

The road ahead can still be lined with gold. Stan Wright came through his first appearance of the season, as a second-half replacement, with a clean bill of fitness.

Leinster have four of their seven remaining league matches at home at The RDS, starting on Friday against Treviso. These include dates with The Scarlets and Ulster.

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