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Cronin: Five-day turnaround was 'actually not too bad' for Leinster

The Ireland international hooker insists the province are fully-recovered ahead of the Ospreys clash.

Cronin claims Leinster are fully focused on four points.
Cronin claims Leinster are fully focused on four points.
Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

AS SOON AS the dates and times for rounds five and six of the pool stages of the Heineken Cup were released, there was concern for Leinster.

The five-day turnaround was highlighted as a hugely demanding physical task for the province, particularly with the first of those games coming at Castres’ Stade Pierre-Antoine, an encounter that was always likely to be testing.

As it turns out, the burden on Leinster has been somewhat eased by their 29-22 win in France, meaning Matt O’Connor’s men need just a single match point tomorrow night against the Ospreys to secure a quarter-final spot.

Hooker Sean Cronin says that even if the weight of importance on the upcoming fixture was greater, the five-day turnaround was manageable.

Sometimes it’s actually not too bad, because training’s tapered down to suit the lads and [we] try to get as much recovery in as possible. Matt’s kind of laid off us a small bit in terms of the workload during the week.

“It’s not bad, it’s given over to the S & C [strength and conditioning] guys to try and get players in the best condition possible so training has been tapered back a bit this week and we put in a lot of video work trying to get that extra bit  instead of being on the pitch.”

With their recovery having gone smoothly, and boosted by the return of Richardt Strauss to the match-day squad, Leinster feel they are well-prepared to face the Ospreys at the RDS. Cronin insists that the eastern province are focused on ensuring they finish out the group with a victory, but the Limerick native is well aware of the Welsh side’s threats.

I think the guys are ready to go this week. We’re looking to go out and win, that’s the bottom line. We know if we win we’re in the quarters 100%; everyone’s firmly fixed on the job in hand.

“It’s going to be a massive test. They’ve got a whole host of Lions in the pack, a really exciting, dangerous back-line and it’s H Cup rugby. They’d love to come over here and get a scalp.”

- Additional reporting by Sean Farrell.

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