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Matt O'Connor: Poor third quarter cost Leinster

Updated: Sunday, 06 Apr 2014 21:04 | Comments

Xavier Chiocci's try just after half-time proved crucial for Toulon
Xavier Chiocci's try just after half-time proved crucial for Toulon

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By Tadhg Peavoy

Leinster coach Matt O'Connor believes his team ultimately lost their Heineken Cup quarter-final due to a poor third quarter when they conceded ten points to Toulon.

The Lions battled to stay in the tie against a superb Toulon side, leaving the score 6-6 at half-time, but leaked ten points in the six minutes after half-time to leave them trailing 16-6 and with the momentum against them.

"No, that first 15 minutes they had a lot of momentum. We did quite well to stay in it, and to go to the half at 6-6," said O'Connor.

"But their ten points after half-time won them the game really. We'll be ruing that 20 minutes for a long time."

When pressed as to whether he should have brought on Ian Madigan earlier, O'Connor said that perhaps he did leave the out-half on the bench too long.

"We knew we needed to score tries and and he [Ian Madigan] gives us a little bit of potency in that department," said O'Connor.

"We stuck with Jimmy [Gopperth] a little bit longer and it got away from us."

The Leinster boss also highlighted his team's inability to protect possession as a crucial factor in their defeat.

"We didn't look after the ball. There were three of four genuine scoring chances in unstructured positions in that first half that we didn't take," said O'Connor.

But the coach rejected suggestions this was the end of an era for Leinster, saying that coming to Toulon was a challenge many sides fail to overcome.

He said: "I wouldn't say so. A lot of teams have come here and lost. It's a tough place to win. We didn't show the best version of ourselves today."

@TPeavoy

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