Head coach Matt O’Connor hailed man of the match Jack Conan’s performance after the youngster was one of the few bright spots for Leinster in a dour victory over Ospreys at the RDS in the Guinness Pro12.
Two closing penalties from Jimmy Gopperth guided Leinster to an 18-12 victory in a cagey clash with the under-strength Ospreys.
Conan had an impressive outing, bouncing off tackles and giving a powerful performance which puts the 22-year-old No. 8 in the frame as another back row option for O’Connor.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport, O’Connor said: “Jack Conan is getting better and better every time he plays.
“I think he was hands down the man of the match tonight and he probably was last week as well [against Treviso].
“It was tough. Ospreys came with a pretty good plan to get off the line and make it hard for us at the breakdown and play good field position.
“Full credit to them, they delivered that plan and got a full point out of it” - Matt O'Connor on Ospreys' performance
“Full credit to them, they delivered that plan and got a point out of it.”
The teams had gone in all-square 9-9 at the break with Ireland international Ian Madigan kicking Leinster’s points, however, Madigan didn’t come out for the second period and Gopperth took over the kicking duties putting over a further nine points.
Although Leinster still couldn’t muster a try after the break, O’Connor did see an improvement on the first-half-display.
“We created a couple of chances [in the second half], we probably put ourselves in a position to score two or three tries. For a couple of reasons we didn’t take those and it left Ospreys in the game.”
With the Champions Cup clash against Harlequins a fortnight away, the head coach said there was no concern over Ireland international Madigan’s withdrawal at half-time, after the centre turned over on his ankle in the opening minutes.
“He rolled his ankle very early in the game and we thought at half time we just didn’t want to aggravate it any further. When you’ve got guys as good as Noel Reid and Gordon D’Arcy there’s no need to put him out there for the second forty minutes.”