LEINSTER HAD THEIR try bonus point wrapped up with 37 minutes to spare but, with overall tries scored crucial for knock-out advancement, could only add a late Ian Madigan score.
The reigning Heineken Cup champions now have eight tries in the competition. Six teams that could still finish second have crossed the whitewash more times.
Leinster scrum-half Isaac Boss was making ‘no bones about it’ after his team’s 33-14 win — the Blues still need to beat Exeter Chiefs and competitors to falter if they are to progress.
He told TheScore.ie, “We’re disappointed that we didn’t get another one or two. I know they guys felt they created the opportunities… it could come down to that. Tries.”
Jamie Heaslip whistles dixie while Boss gets to grips with Scarlets’ Sione Timani. (INPHO/Cathal Noonan)
Boss, who started ahead of Eoin Reddan, insists the champions are fully aware that they have only completed half of their escape act.
He is glad to have Rob Kearney and Luke Fitzgerald back in regular rotation.
“Luke and Rob showed what they could do today,” he said. “They’ve had a couple of games to get into the groove so hopefully now they can push on.”
The Kiwi reflected on the missed Ignacio Mieres penalty that gifted Leinster a home win in the first round of fixtures. He added:
They probably should have won that match against us. They’re not going to be scared of us going there at all… if they could knock us out it would be a real victory for them.
“We’ve got to get over there and get ready for war.”
Scarlets for ya
Scarlets coach Simon Easterby reflected on his side’s fifth defeat in Europe this year but argued it was not down to a lack of effort.
He said, “There was a huge amount of effort for little reward really. We made 150 tackles but to be fair they came out and started how we expected them to… they didn’t do too much that we didn’t expect.” He added:
We showed glimpses of how we can pressurize teams, we are just not doing it for long enough. The best sides do it consistently and for sustained periods and at the moment we are not able to do that.
!We broke the back a little bit in the first half but 19-6 we still felt like we get a score and we put a bit of pressure on them, but they scored first and then that takes the game away from us.
“We got 35 minutes without conceding anything and then we give a try away at the end. I think that is where we are at at the moment, unfortunately.”