Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 13°C Wednesday 21 October 2020

'Tweaked calf' for Boss only negative for Leinster as Ross and Healy build match fitness

The props came through unscathed and should be available to win a few more match minutes next weekend.

BY THE TIME Isaac Boss reported a strain in his calf muscle last night, Leinster had already issued more than a warning shot that Zebre were about to be burnt off.

Luke McGrath came on after nine minutes to guide Leinster in for the remaining 45 points of the 52 – 0 win.

Boss will have a scan to gauge the severity of what Leo Cullen called a ‘tweak’, but that will be the only addition to the the medical team’s workload in UCD.

Mike Ross Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

After missing out on the squad for the first two matches of the Six Nations, Mike Ross and Cian Healy made a return from injury in the front row. The older, heavier tighthead played just over a half. Cian Healy emptied the tank altogether, making lastman on the bench Peter Dooley wait until the hour mark before entering the fray.

The pair will likely be called up to Ireland camp next week, but with Twickenham still a fortnight away, Cullen will hope to have the pair back in harness to put more match minutes under their belts away to Cardiff next Saturday.

But there are plenty more positives to wallow in before preparation starts for that game.

“Conceding nothing is always pleasing as well, so Girvan (Dempsey) and Kurt (McQuilkin) will be quite happy,” Cullen said post-match in the RDS.

Isa Nacewa scores second try Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Cullen himself will have plenty to be happy with this weekend, eight tries from eight different try-scorers and big showings from Cian Kelleher and Adam Byrne who were bumped up the pecking order thanks to Fergus McFadden’s call-up to the international setup.

“You want guys to come in and make an impact, you want guys to be pusing for a place in the team. It’s a really good window for players to showcase their talents.

“Some guys we wouldn’t have seen a huge amount of so far and it’s pleasing to see some of those guys come off the bench and make a real impact.”

A view of the final score Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

“The bonus point is crucially important, we threw one away the last day against dragons and those points make a huge amount of difference in the shake-up later in the season.”

That bonus point was secured by half-time, and Cullen’s message to the Laighin Cubs back in the chaning room was to keep the foot on the pedal.

The temptation is to be carefree, throwing the ball around. Zebre came with real intent in the second half the way they defended, they flew in with bodies and we just had to be patient buidling pressure.

“Keep being accurate in what we do, that’s the main message.”

“It’s a big challenge for this group now to take the positives from today into next week. because it’s a very different challenge against Cardiff.”

McGrath magic sets Leinster on their way to 8-try rout at home to Zebre

France too strong for Ireland with dominant performance in Narbonne

About the author:

Sean Farrell

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel