Find a page

O'Connor: Leinster intensity flat
25 Apr 2015 12:12
Head coach Matt O’Connor has said Leinster have failed to increase their intensity as the Guinness Pro 12 has become more competitive.
-
Leinster were beaten 26-10 in their inter-provincial clash with Ulster at Ravenhill on Friday, a result that all but ends their chances of reaching the Pro12 play-offs.
-
Having been knocked out of the Champions Cup after extra-time in a gruelling semi-final last Sunday, Leinster had just five days to prepare for the game against Ulster. That tight turnaround eventually told after Ulster hauled them back from a 10-0 lead to score 26 unanswered points.
-
With just two games left in the regular season, Leinster’s interest in the play-offs looks to be finished, and speaking to RTÉ Sport after the Ulster game, O’Connor said the league was more competitive that ever before.
-
“The dynamic of meritocracy has changed,” O’Connor said. “Teams are playing for every point. There’s a growth in the competitive edge to every game, which is really positive for the league.”
-
He also suggested that his side had failed to improve to match this development in the league.
-
“I said earlier that, through the Six Nations, we probably haven’t mirrored that intensity. We probably stayed at the intensity where we’ve been over the last couple of seasons, and it [the rest of the season and the Summer break] will give us the opportunity to review it and have a look at it and make sure that we are better, next time around.”
-
Reflecting on the game, O’Connor said Leinster’s exertions in the Toulon game had come back to haunt them.
-
“We were working pretty hard, but we were a little bit flat, I think,” he said. “The emotion that went into last week, and the disappointment that was left over, probably hurt us, and once the game was out of our grasp we toiled hard but we just didn’t have that edge to us.”
-
He insisted he was not using the Toulon game as an excuse, but said: “It’s the reality of a pretty tough encounter, 100 minutes against a very good side.
-
“And to come away up here, [even] off the back of really good preparation, is always hard. And [Ulster] were up for it. There was a lot at stake from their perspective, and they were deserving winners.”
-
O’Connor said yellow cards to Sean O’Brien and Rob Kearney had hurt his side, given the five-day turnaround.
-
“To go down and play 60 minutes a man down – it was going to be a tough ask, and that probably told in the end,” he said.
-
However, overall, “there was no question of the effort and commitment,” he said. “It was an incredibly physical game, and in wet conditions, it got even more physical. There was a lot of trench warfare that went on that took a toll on both sides.”
-

Where can I get RTÉ Aertel Digital?

RTÉ Aertel Digital is an enhanced digital version of the RTÉ Aertel teletext service. It functions in the same way as the analogue service, offering current news, sport and weather updates but is now more agile and easier to use.

RTÉ Aertel Digital is available on Saorview, the new free digital TV service in Ireland.
Press TEXT button on your remote to launch Aertel from RTÉ One, RTÉ Two, RTÉ News Now.