herald

Monday 23 April 2018

Tough test but we got the win

We'll take positives out of frustrating Connacht game

After a difficult physical test on Saturday evening, it was nice to wake up on Sunday morning knowing we had taken the four points on offer.

It was a scrappy game and we were very inaccurate at times both with the ball and without the ball, but it was really pleasing that we stuck to the task and we ground out the win.

The inaccuracy lead to a huge feeling of frustration and that was probably the main emotion after the game, but when you reflect over time, it could have been an awful lot worse if we didn't get the win. So we will take the positives out of it and move on to the next challenge.

We are lying in fifth position in the PRO12 and have won three tough games in a row so we're in a good place even though we are not overly happy with the recent performance.

QUALITY

It was great to catch up with former Leinster players Fionn Carr and Paul O'Donohoe after the game and my good friend Gav Duffy. Gav's a great bloke and we go way back. We first played each other about 20 years ago in the Community Games.

He was playing out-half for Ballina and I was playing hooker for Knocklyon. We have been playing with and against each other since then on various representative teams, he's a quality player and it's always nice to play against him.

Monday morning came and the dressing room was a little quieter than usual. A lot of the boys had come together for national camp and I was delighted to see my next door neighbour in the changing room had been included in the squad.

Jack (McGrath) has been really good for us now for a while and I was delighted to see him get a well-deserved call up. It was also great to see Dave (Kearney) involved and Marty (Moore) getting called in on Monday.

It's a big month for all involved and hopefully it will go well. I know the whole country will get behind them for the upcoming series.

It's also a huge month for us at Leinster. Starting with the difficult fixture away to Newport and also the games away to Treviso and home against Scarlets. There is a maximum of 15 points up for grabs and we will be trying to achieve this target over the next four weeks.

OPPORTUNITY

Training has been good all week with a few adaptations to our existing plays. The good thing is that all the lads are mad keen and want a chance to play.

This is a massive opportunity for all of us to stake a claim for the games going forward and for the European Cup games in December.

We must concentrate on first things first, though. Our sole focus is on the Dragons and trying to improve on our performance from last week.

There doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day these days and it will be great to get a few days off after the Newport game. There is no game for Leinster for two weeks after Gwent, so we will have some down time.

Unfortunately, I will be spending my time off doing assignments as I have two due for mid-November, which are causing me great stress but I'll get there in the end.

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