'We still have a fair bit to go, that's the exciting part for us'

Asia's Tech News Daily

'We still have a fair bit to go, that's the exciting part for us'
© Dan Sheridan INPHO Max Deegan celebrates scoring a late try for Leinster.

LEO CULLEN ASKED for a response, and at the RDS tonight he got it. After a slow start against Connacht, Leinster slowly found their rhythm before delivering a dominant second half display, putting seven tries on Connacht to shake off last week’s surprise defeat to Ulster. 

With the return of the Champions Cup on the horizon, it was a timely show of strength from a squad who have big ambitions this season.

“We looked a bit scrappy, a few unforced errors. Guys are trying hard at the start, but we probably lack a little bit of cohesion, it’s fair to say,” Cullen said.

“We’re not quite where we would like to be at the moment, but we had a fair amount of changes over the last couple of weeks so maybe it’s to be expected with the short turnaround in terms of prep.

“Guys came in tonight after November (internationals), had a week off then this week was a short week to get that sense of togetherness and cohesion back.

“And Connacht made us pay as well. They had us pinned back in this corner down here and they are a bloody good attacking team, as we have seen over the course of this season really, scoring a lot of tries and they got in for three today.”

Connacht started with plenty of intent to take an early lead, but couldn’t live with the strength of Leinster’s bench in the second period as the home side turned the screw. Still, they managed to fire a few warning shots in that time, with Conor Oliver sniping in to finish a well worked second-half try.

“Connacht were threatening all the way towards the end so there is lots of parts of the game where we can be better, that’s the reality,” Cullen added.

“But overall, the level of intensity was a lot better than last week. But we still have a fair bit to go, and that’s the exciting part for us.”

Next up for Leinster it’s a home game against Bath at the Aviva Stadium as attention turns to the Champions Cup, a competition the province last won in 2018. 

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The English side have been struggling for form this season – losing all eight Premiership fixtures to date – while there is a feeling there is plenty more to come from Cullen’s side. 

“Even though there was a few errors in there, stripped on the ground, we knocked the ball on the back of a ruck, got a little bit ahead and the ball goes in the ground – four or five errors come to my mind straight away from the first half hour of the game, and that just gives Connacht energy. Against the best teams, they’ll make you pay. 

“It wasn’t necessarily an attitude issue, and once we settled down I think we were a lot better. But that’s just getting used to each other again because the season is unusual in the fact you have that month break, so we’re just trying to build that bit of momentum now. 

“So definitely better, and it’s a massive two weeks for us now with Bath and Montpellier.”

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