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'We definitely got sucked into the physical stuff. We need to be better'

Leo Cullen is looking for Leinster to end their season with one last big performance at the RDS.

Tempers flared on several occasions last night in Glasgow.
Tempers flared on several occasions last night in Glasgow.
Image: Craig Watson/INPHO

LEINSTER MAY BE out of contention in the Rainbow Cup after losing to Glasgow last night but head coach Leo Cullen insists there is still plenty to play for when they wrap up their season next week at home to the Dragons in a match that will see the return of some fans.

“It’s our last home game and we are hoping to have 1,200 people at the RDS, the first time we have had a crowd for a long, long time,” Cullen pointed out.

“The guys will be keen to put on a good show and they will also be keen to give the players who are leaving a good send-off.

“There is plenty of motivation for us regardless of whether there is anything tangible to play for. There is always something at stake, plenty for our guys to play for.”

The reality was that the raw niggle of the Glasgow game last night seemed to get under his players’ skin and they could not find a way to step above it.

Two disallowed tries for Hugo Keenan only added to their woes but, for all that, Cullen reckoned the Rainbow Cup has been a problem for his side from the start.

“The position of that first game made life pretty tricky,” he said. “We played Munster the week before the semi-final of Europe. We had had a big win against Exeter in the quarter-finals of Europe then we tried to manage some of our players in the round one game [of the Rainbow Cup] and then we lost the semi-final anyway. It was a costly two weeks and we have been chasing things since then.

“It was unlikely that we were going to make the final but the guys did want to go out and put on a good show [against Glasgow]. We are disappointed that we did not achieve that. It was a scrappy game that did not quite go our way.

“A lot of things we could control weren’t good enough, not accurate enough across the board – and an expensive penalty count as well.”

Add in a Leinster team with a lot of young blood, a fired-up home side ready to mix it in the dark areas and they struggled to keep a lid on their emotions.

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“We definitely got sucked into the physical stuff,” Cullen admitted. “There were lots of different fracas and TMO checks – no real rhythm or flow to the game, which became quite stop-start and disjointed. We need to be better in terms of how we manage that.”

At home, with a crowd to impress and farewells to say, he is confident there won’t be a repeat next week.

About the author:

Lewis Stuart

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