herald

Friday 17 August 2018

Schmidt wants high standards kept up

COACH Joe Schmidt must have breathed a huge sigh of relief when his players turned over the Scarlets 15-10 in Wales to give Leinster a 50pc winning return from the first four rounds.

"This is massively important. Munster are already runaway leaders on 17," Schmidt said.

"You've got Ulster on 12 and Connacht are on 13. We have to qualify for the Heineken Cup. It is as simple as that."

It is way too early in the campaign to be thinking about the conclusion of the regular season.

But the Kiwi is clearly intent on reminding his players of the high standards set by the club that has won two of the past three European Cups.

"While there is an opportunity for young guys, there is also a massive responsibility to front up," he said. "This is one of those things we've grabbed with both hands."

This was a victory forged out of stubborn defence and the eagle-eyed goal-kicking of Isa Nacewa from full-back. He struck five from six on an inclement night.

"Job done. We were desperate. It wasn't exciting. But it was what we wanted," said Nacewa. "We were really poor last week.

"We needed a result. We'll take the positives out of tonight and move on.

"After last weekend's defeat, it was important that we put in a better performance and got the win.

"We're pleased but we know that there are areas to work on so we'll address those things during the week ahead of the Aironi game next weekend," added the Fijian.

At the moment, Leinster stand in an unremarkable sixth position, behind the other three Irish provinces.

There will be no lack of motivation to repair the damage done by their first home loss in 29 matches against Glasgow when Aironi come to town next Saturday.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News