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Pro12: Leinster coach Joe Schmidt 'massively frustrated' after fourth straight loss to Ospreys

The New Zealander was unhappy with his side as they failed to score for 72 minutes after taking a 10-0 lead.

Eli Walker of Ospreys is tackled by Rhys Ruddock of Leinster.
Eli Walker of Ospreys is tackled by Rhys Ruddock of Leinster.
Image: ©INPHO/Huw Evans

THE RABODIRECT PRO12 has reached the first of its two mid-season hibernations and Leinster are planted firmly in mid-table.

The Heineken Cup champions lie sixth, nine points behind unbeaten Ulster, who have an away game against Zebre in hand.

Hopes that the nine-try destruction of an insipid Cardiff Blues side would lead to a winning run of their own were dashed after Ospreys recorded 19 unanswered points to land another psychological blow.

The Welsh side have now beaten Leinster four times in succession with the most devastating blow coming in last season’s 31-30 win in the Pro12 Final.

Despite trailing 10-0 after eight minutes, Ospreys battled back into the match before Eli Walker and Richard Fussell combined to get the try that broke Leinster’s resistance.

Speaking to RTÉ Radio after the game, Leinster coach Joe Schmidt said, “(I’m) massively frustrated. It’s difficult to hide that. It’s not often I’d say that but that’s the reality of it.

“We were very much in the game. Could have certainly got the result but then to get nothing is disappointing.”

The inclement conditions did not allow Leinster to replicate the expansive game that accounted for Cardiff at the RDS, with handling errors detracting from a closely-fought match. Schmidt commented:

Usually when the conditions are like that and you’ve got the dominant scrum, you get reward. We just got no reward this week.

We were penalised three times at scrum, which was incredibly frustrating, especially after last year’s final when there were two yellow cards and referee reports coming back to me which were incorrect.

“Then you’ve got to live with this when you are on top. That’s incredibly frustrating.”

“But, as I’ve said,” Schmidt added, “there was some really good things that the Ospreys did. Kahn Fotuali’i, when he came on, added a real spark. He’s some player.

“Matthew Morgan played well, nailed a drop goal, Richard Fussell did well and Jonathan Thomas has such a massive engine. I thought the Ospreys were good for their win.”

Another away fixture awaits Leinster when the league resumes on 23 November.

The internationals, and long-term injured, will be out of the selection mix but Schmidt will be hoping to call on Leo Cullen, Eoin O’Malley and, all going well, Luke Fitzgerald for the match against Glasgow Warriors.

As it happened: Ospreys v Leinster, RaboDirect PRO12

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Patrick McCarry

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