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Dublin: 0°C Monday 1 March 2021
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Leo Cullen tells Leinster players to step up standards

The Irish side earned a hard-fought win away to Edinburgh last night.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

LEINSTER MAY HAVE picked up their first try bonus point of the season in winning away in Edinburgh, but Leo Cullen, the head coach, has warned the players they will have to step up their standards and cannot afford another second-half fall-off when they face the Ospreys this week.

He is, however, confident that after giving his core Ireland internationals up front a good run in Scotland, they will be in better shape to take on the Welsh. “To score four tries in the first half is pretty pleasing. With so many guys coming in for their first games, there was always going to be a little bit of fatigue in the second half,” he said.

“We probably did not manage the game particularly well at the start of the second half, and all credit to Edinburgh, they came back strongly. It was just a bit frustrating that we could not kick on, particularly with them being down to 14 men at the start of the second half.

“It is just a case of bringing those guys up to speed. It can be challenging when they are coming back in the third round and some of those Edinburgh guys had played three or four games.”

The fact is that when Leinster were in charge they looked ready to blow a disappointing Edinburgh side off the park, finding huge holes in the home defence for Daniel Leavy, Garry Ringrose, Isa Nacewa and Jamison Gibson-Park to cross for tries that settled the result.

On the downside, the way they let the Edinburgh pack dictate the game after the break must concern Cullen who knows the Ospreys are in a different class to Edinburgh and will bring a lot more threats in attack, with the Scots butchering a number of scoring chances.

“There is a pretty good chance the Ospreys will be sitting top of the table when they come to Dublin and they have some more of their big-name players still to come back into the mix,” Cullen said. “They have a pretty good record over the years at the RDS so they will be confident.”

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Lewis Stuart

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