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Dublin: 14 °C Sunday 18 August, 2019
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Job 'done-zo' for Leo Cullen as Leinster tan Cardiff hides again

Coach Joe Schmidt, meanwhile, was irked at the concession of three Cardiff tries.

Leo Cullen was pleased with the level of Leinster's intensity.
Leo Cullen was pleased with the level of Leinster's intensity.
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

LEO CULLEN LOOKED around the press room at the RDS soon after he had dissected his team’s 59-22 annihilation of Cardiff Blues and said “done-zo” before ambling off into the night.

When Cardiff come to Dublin to play the league’s other Blues the victory is normally done-zo with time to spare and bonus points for decoration.

The Welsh side have been making league visits to the RDS for six seasons and have lost every time. Add to that the 34-3 Heineken Cup victory at the Aviva last season and you have a sorry tale to tell.

No wonder Sam Warburton, Jamie Roberts and co. celebrated with such gusto when Wales edged out Ireland in February’s Six Nations clash.

The Welsh internationals had no answer to a the slaughterhouse brutality of Leinster as the won the battles up front and shredded the Blues’ defensive lines.

“I thought we were a bit more ruthless in terms of hanging onto the ball,” Cullen told TheScore.ie. ”We haven’t put too many phases together over the last couple of weeks. That has been one of the most disappointing things so it was nice to throw some phases together. The guys carried hard tonight.”

Tit-for-tat

Cullen believes the five points secured on Saturday may prove crucial during a ‘difficult period people leaving squads’ to go into national camps. He was, however, perturbed by the “tit-for-tat” manner of the second-half.

“It was a bit disappointing, giving away three tries in the second half,” he admitted. “The game got a bit disjointed. We talked about keeping our shape but, unfortunately, that didn’t pan out.” Cullen added:

We’d have liked to have been able to keep that intensity, which I thought was brilliant in the first 40. I’m not too sure how we were going to keep it for the second 40. Cardiff are a quality team with some quality players.

“We see the likes of Jamie Roberts and Alex Cuthbert – they’ve some very dangerous ball runners and they scored some good tries themselves.”

About Schmidt

Leinster coach Joe Schmidt also referred to the drop off in performance levels midway through the second-half and the concession of tries to Cuthbert, Leigh Halfpenny and Tom James. He told TheScore.ie:

That is a little bit difficult, to stay attuned but they know that they have a responsibility to make sure they stay in sync with the other players and they have to have a bit of pride in the tryline.

“We’ve conceded on average three times per game and I think the players are disappointed that the average was kept despite the gap in the scoreline.”

Schmidt praised Richardt Strauss, who was called up to the Ireland squad on Wednesday, and pointed out that Sean Cronin was providing a high level of competition for the hooker position.

Asked if he was disappointed that Leinster did not best their record 62-14 scoreline (against Border Reivers in 2006), Schmidt responded, “No, I don’t chase records at all. I just wanted five points.

I looked at Ospreys this afternoon – they managed to get the bonus point try in the 72nd minute, Scarlets, Munster and Ulster got it (on Friday) night so if we didn’t get it we were going down the pecking order.

“We’ve got Glasgow and Ospreys coming up so we knew we needed a win to stay in contention.”

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About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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