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Missing out on Pro12 play-offs is 'unacceptable' for Leinster - Madigan

The Leinster out-half says Matt O’Connor’s men will take positives from the season too.

AS MUNSTER, ULSTER and Connacht prepare for play-off fixtures this weekend, Leinster’s players are in a strange sort of limbo.

While Matt O’Connor’s men clearly wouldn’t swap places with Connacht, given that they are still two wins away from achieving Champions Cup qualification, Leinster will have itchy feet in the coming days.

Luke Fitzgerald, Ian Madigan and Sean O'Brien Madigan, Luke Fitzgerald and Sean O'Brien this afternoon launched the new IRFU Canterbury training wear. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Ireland’s clash with the Barbarians at Thomond Park on 28 May is the next important date in the calendar for many of the eastern province’s players. Indeed, Joe Schmidt is now likely to be looking at a Leinster-heavy selection to face the invitational side.

“I think the season has probably ended a game too soon, if not two games too soon,” said Leinster out-half Ian Madigan this afternoon.

I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I said I was happy that it’s ended the way it has. I’d love to be playing in the [Pro12] semi-finals this weekend.

“Leinster definitely fell short of our standards this year. To not make the top four is unacceptable really. But we’ve looked back on the whole season and there were positives in there as well. To be within a hair’s breadth of making the final is definitely a positive and something we can take confidence from going into next season.”

Despite the optimism Madigan says Leinster have garnered from their European exploits, the mood around the province’s efforts this season has been almost entirely gloomy from the outside.

Ian Madigan with the Man of the Match award after the game Madigan was man of the match back in the 10 shirt for Leinster last weekend. Source: Robert Perry/INPHO

Several of the players have admitted to an awareness of what’s been said about their performances and playing style, with Madigan also stating that he has had supporters sharing their concerns with him.

The 26-year-old says the Leinster faithful are entitled to do so.

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“It’s tough when you’re going down to the shops to get your groceries and you’ve got people saying, ‘that was a disappointing performance the other weekend.’ They would [say that] and I think they’ve got the right to.

“They’re supporters and it could be the same guy patting you on the back saying ‘you had a great game at the weekend, that was a great performance.’ I think you’ve got to wear the good with the bad and if you’re a season ticket holder you’re entitled to your opinion.”

Madigan’s method of dealing with criticism or disappointment rotates around how he reacts to praise and success. Finding an equilibrium between the two opposing emotional states is the key for the former Blackrock College man.

Ian Madigan Madigan says Leinster will take positives from their European campaign. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“That’s the joy of sport and I think for me personally the key when things are going well personally for me, Leinster and Ireland is to not get carried away with yourself and not ride that wave too high.

“Then when things are going badly, it’s to not get too down on yourself. For me, it’s about not letting that pendulum swing too high or too low. That’s stood to me well over the last few years.”

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Canterbury, the official kit supplier to the Irish Rugby Football Union, today unveiled the official range of training wear that will be worn by the Irish rugby team throughout the 2015 Rugby World Cup and beyond.

Available from www.Canterbury.comshop.irishrugby.ie and in stores nationwide, Canterbury’s new training product gives the fans a first glimpse of Ireland’s official RWC performance range.

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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