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Dublin: 6°C Sunday 28 February 2021

Cullen buoyed by 'composure' of young Leinster side to exorcise Glasgow loss

‘The review of that game was hanging in the air, and it was quite a tough one,’ said Leo Cullen having ended the Pro14′s three-week break with a rout of Dragons.

Max Deegan gets over for his first Leinster try.
Max Deegan gets over for his first Leinster try.

IN THE END, the Dragons were easy pickings for a Leinster side bursting with energy, confidence and clarity.

But Leo Cullen’s charges did leave him with some moments of doubt when Bernard Jackman’s visitors effectively worked through their phases to open up a 10 – 0 lead.

“You’re never too sure coming off the break,” said Cullen after a month-long, one-match wait for a win.

“We finished our game against Glasgow (a 31 – 21 loss) and we had a week off, a lot of guys went in to national camp. So the review of that game was hanging in the air. And it was quite a tough one, because a lot of things in that game were… the players were disappointed themselves with things that happened in that game.”

The bonus point victory that, combined with Ulster only managing a narrow win over Treviso, pushes Leinster into second place in the Pro14′s conference B was achieved  before half-time.

Rory O'Loughlin tackled by Adam Warren Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO


Though it did take an impressive rise in tempo and intensity heat up the RDS with 28 points in 20 minutes courtesy of some sparkling attacking play from Ross Byrne, Rory O’Loughlin and Jordan Larmour with Sean Cronin in typically rampaging form.

“We were a little bit slow out of the blocks, I thought,” adds Cullen.

“Defensively, they took us on on the seam and took away our edge defenders at the ruck and picked a way into those spaces. They caused us problems and obviously scored that try to go 10 up, but we showed reasonably good composure, just stuck to processes and I thought the lads were really clinical in attack.

Jordan Larmour Jordan Larmour makes a break. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“We didn’t cough up the ball cheap at any stage, we were patient in attack and took the opportunities when they came.”

All eight of them.

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):

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Sean Farrell

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