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Leo Cullen bemoans Leinster discipline after big defeat to Cheetahs

The Irish province were well beaten last night.

Cheetahs players clap off the Leinster team after the game.
Cheetahs players clap off the Leinster team after the game.
Image: Gerhard Steenkamp/INPHO

DISCIPLINE WILL BE one of Leinster’s biggest areas of focus during their week of prep heading in their home match against Edinburgh.

The Toyota Cheetahs stunned the three-time champions on Friday evening by recording a bonus point 38-19 victory at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein.

While the Cheetahs’ discipline was worse than that of Leinster, the home side made better use of their chances by converting six of the 10 penalties into points, in the form of four shots on goal, and two tries from a set-pieces.

Leinster coach, Leo Cullen, said that the Cheetahs kept the board ticking with shots on goal and the James Tracy yellow card didn’t make matters easier, but ultimately they are accountable.

“The Cheetahs came at us hard and letting them build that lead we made life more difficult for ourselves than we needed to.

“Giving away a cheap penalty for offside, one for blocking, another for not rolling away in a tackle so, it becomes three, six, nine, 12.

“We just didn’t manage the ball particularly well, we were a little bit off and left ourselves with way too much to do.

“Losing James Tracy to the bin at the start of the second half, leaking another try and being down to 14-men, so clearly it was the penalty count that got us in trouble.”

Apart from the penalties, Leinster were struck will a massive blow as early the 15th minute of the clash when the captain, Isa Nacewa, was forced to leave the park with calf injury. This seemed to leave the backline somewhat rudderless, although, the winger Barry Daly did exceptional work to score a hat-trick during a losing cause.

The trip to South Africa was nothing but a disaster for the New Zealander, after being sent home along with this countryman, Jamison Gibson-Park and then returning a few days last with the correct paperwork.

Cullen confirmed that the Nacewa is unlikely to be available for the match against Edinburgh.

“He was examined and is unlikely to turnaround next week because of his calf injury.

“We will just have a look again and get to undergo a scan when we get home, so he doesn’t look like he will be available next week.”

Cullen added that despite everything that didn’t work out well for Nacewa, he remained in good spirits.

“He’s okay, he’s got a smile on his face away. He’s just got to focus now on getting back now, getting recovered and starting the rehab process.”

Cullen his that they will be getting some of their British and Irish Lions back for the match at the RDS next Friday.​

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Morgan Piek

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