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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 11 May 2021

Leinster wary of Saints after applying Saracens lesson on opening weekend

‘When you lose it’s important you don’t lose the lesson.’

Image: Dave Winter/INPHO

LEINSTER SCRUM COACH Robin McBryde remains wary of the threat brought by Northampton, despite Saints boss Chris Boyd saying he will ‘give some youngsters a run’ in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off.

The Premiership side lost 12-16 at home to Bordeaux Begles on Champions Cup opening weekend and the steep climb of facing Leinster – who ran up 93 points on them across last year’s December back-to-back meetings – must seem a daunting one.

“To all intents and purposes, they won that game,” says McBryde, citing a crucial Bordeaux crucial try that came after a penalty rebounded off the post.

“When you don’t get that luck on your side, there’s no better way to turn it round than to target an away game where you’re much unfancied, the underdog. You can turn up with no pressure on your shoulders, you’ve nothing to lose. Without that pressure, you become a very dangerous animal.

“I expect them to turn up really looking to turn their season around by getting a result here.”

McBryde shrugged off Boyd’s suggestion of sending a side short on experience for Saturday’s clash, noting that the Saints’ registered European squad has quality enough.

If they’re young it doesn’t make a difference. They’re still going to be keen to put on a good performance. We’ll have to be as diligent as we were last week, looking at Northampton, making sure we’re one step ahead, not standing still.

“Because if we don’t get a result this week then last week doesn’t count for anything.”

Last week was an emphatic statement of intent from Leinster, dismantling a powerful Montpellier outfit with their incisive breakdown and attack. To prepare the squad for hitting European pace, McBryde says they simply looked to their last outing in the competition.

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“We really focused on the lessons we were handed by Saracens in that quarter-final.

“There were lessons we had to learn from that experience. Because when you lose it’s important you don’t lose the lesson.

“We knew it was going to be a massive step up and that was evident in the way we prepared, analysed, trained. Everything. In fairness to the players, they got their just rewards in regards to the result. The work that went in, to a man, was outstanding.”

About the author:

Sean Farrell

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