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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 12 December, 2019
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'There's no coincidence, they work hard all the time', says Cullen after Baby Blues beat Bath

The big-spending Premiership side weren’t allowed any time to settle by Leinster’s makeshift side.

James Tracy making hard yards.
James Tracy making hard yards.
Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

THERE WAS A look of vindication about Leo Cullen after a makeshift Leinster side stormed to a 25 – 11 Champions Cup win over Bath at the RDS tonight.

The head coach’s selection was never second guessed, not when Leinster were already out of the tournament, yet there’s always a chance of embarrassment when so many untried and untested players are thrown into the deep end together.

That sort of trepidation was quickly blown away, however, as each of the six men winning their first European start contributed big efforts to help Leinster take (an admittedly off-colour) Bath apart.

“It was good that they got a positive experience,” said Cullen with a nod to the gloomy Champions Cup campaign that has blighted his first season as head coach.

“We have huge faith in them as coaches, we can see the work they put in. It was important they just handled the occasion.”

That faith was shown when the starters jerseys were handed out, but seeing is believing and Cullen’s most upbeat post-match press conference of the season came thanks to the performances of Ross Molony, James Tracy, Peter Dooley, Garry Ringrose, Luke McGrath, Tadhg Furlong and the relative old head Josh van der Flier

“They’re the guys who have shown really positive characteristics day in day out and they showed it on the field.

There’s no real coincidence, they work hard all the time and they put in a good shift.

“They lack in experience, but they made up for it in the endeavour and work they put in.

“I’m delighted for them that they got a really good reception from the crowd, unbelievable noise out there tonight.”

And, if tonight’s dead rubber is anything to go by, the RDS will be given reason to get excited for the foreseeable future too.

Here’s how the race for the 8 Champions Cup quarter-final berths stands

Leinster young guns blaze a trail in comfortable win over Bath

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Sean Farrell

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