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Dublin: 3°C Sunday 16 May 2021

'It's so important to maximise every single point': Leinster turn attention to Pro12

The eastern province returned to action yesterday with a big win over Treviso.

Leinster ran in six tries to secure all five points in Italy.
Leinster ran in six tries to secure all five points in Italy.
Image: Alfio Guarise/INPHO

LEINSTER HEAD COACH Leo Cullen is hopeful of having ‘one or two’ Ireland players available for the province’s Guinness Pro12 clash with Edinburgh this Friday.

With the Six Nations heading into a week’s break, Joe Schmidt has the option of releasing some of his squad for provincial duty this weekend with Leinster hosting Edinburgh at the RDS.

“We’ll see how those guys present after the weekend,” Cullen said after yesterday’s bonus-point win over Treviso. “Potentially there might be one or two guys coming back but it’s a short turnaround. We’re back in Monday for recovery.

“We just need to make sure we prepare as well as we can and it’ll be nice to be back at the RDS again and to try and put in a big performance in front of our own fans.”

Sunday’s 40-14 hammering of the Italians saw Leinster continue where they left off in the Pro12 with Cullen’s men running in six tries at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo.

Dave Kearney marked his return from injury with a first-half brace while Joey Carbery and Mike Ross also made a welcome return ahead of the business end of the season.

Rory O'Loughlin and Dave Kearney celebrate Dave Kearney scored two tries in Italy. Source: Alfio Guarise/INPHO

“We’re pleased obviously to get the win, to get five points was really, really pleasing,” Cullen added.

“To score 40 points away from home is always pleasing but there was definitely a bit of rustiness I suppose in our performance.

“We scored six tries, three in each half, but there were definitely a lot more opportunities left out there but it was good to get that game under guy’s belts. It has been a while since we played and quite a while since a lot of these guys have played together. All in all, we’re pretty pleased.”

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On Kearney, Carbery and Ross, Cullen said: “They seemed to come through okay. Dave obviously played the most, he played 70 minutes and scored two tries. It was nice to see him back and in a decent vain of form as well. He’s trained hard to get back.

“Mike and Joey came on at similar times and it was good to get 30 odd minutes under their belt. It’s good to get those guys back in the mix.”

Leinster remain five points off leaders Munster and sit three off second-place Ospreys with the race for the Pro12 playoffs, and an all-important home semi, heating up.

“It’s unbelievably congested at the top,” Cullen concluded. “It’s so important to maximise every single point, particularly when we’re at home, and hopefully we’ll have a big crowd at the RDS on Friday.

“There’s no international rugby on so it’s a great opportunity for people to come out and support the team. Friday night at the RDS, hopefully it’ll be a cracking occasion.”

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