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Cullen pleased with Leinster's half-time problem-solving

Leinster head into the final round as top seeds after keeping Lyon scoreless in the second half.

Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

AT TIMES DURING the first-half of their win over Lyon today, Leinster appeared like an irresistible force.

And yet, for all their cut, thrust and creativity, the halfway stage was reached with the lead standing at just 21-14.

“Lyon had a man in the bin and that is the period is where we struggled most,” said Leo Cullen post-match.

“(We) starting losing a few contacts. They started to get a rumble on, we gave away a few penalties; eventually they get in. We looked a little bit edgy in the dressing room at half-time.”

The break was put to good use, as was the ‘edge’. Leinster returned to the field with focus trained on a narrower approach after so much had come so easily in the game’s opening quarter.

Man of the match Max Deegan crossed for a bonus point try that leaves Leinster as the leading seed approaching the final round. However, following Munster’s loss to Racing, they must win an 18th consecutive match to guarantee a home quarter-final in the knock-out round.

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After emerging with a 42-14 win, Cullen’s squad are certainly up to that task.

“I thought the bench were generally pretty good as well, made good impact. Scored six, it could have potentially been more, but it is what we wanted out of the game, a win bonus-point and on we go.

“It was a very long week last week. We had a number of players who had been off for a few weeks, trying to get them back into the flow of things.

“Overall we are pretty pleased. Forcing things a little bit and getting too complicated (in what we were doing). We kicked the ball away cheaply when Lyon were down to 14 players.

“They played keep ball for a while. They are a big physical team, very heavy and once they got that rumble on they were hard to stop. We weathered the storm and got the job done eventually.”

About the author:

Sean Farrell

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