back it up

Attacking efficiency in the 22 the next step for Leinster -- Dempsey

Meanwhile, Sean O’Brien is being treated for an inner ear problem.

LEINSTER BACKS COACH Girvan Dempsey says the coaching staff at the eastern province are largely pleased with the improvements being made, but wants to see more evidence of the upward curve in Glasgow this Saturday.

Girvan Dempsey Morgan Treacy / INPHO Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

Leinster came out on top of a dogged inter-provincial scrap against Ulster last weekend. After back-to-back defeats in Europe, a win was sorely needed to arrest any talk of a slide. So while 8 – 3 wasn’t pretty, there was enough to keep Leo Cullen confident that his pack was moving in the right direction.

“The forwards, set-piece and scrum were very good. Our set-piece overall was good and the defensive effort was very good and much improved,” Dempsey said in Leinster’s UCD base yesterday.

“The frustration came because, (despite) the pressure we put on Ulster we  didn’t come away with points. We had seven or eight entries into their 22 and only came away with that try from the maul.”


In a game heavy on tension and light on scores, Dempsey lamented the fact that his unit was unable to ease the pressure off the defence.

“We’ve got to be more clinical when we get in to the 22, keep the pressure on them, keep building our attack until we score.

“We’re looking at it, held up over the line twice, we knock on going over the line in the corner. If we take one or two of those chances then it’s a different game – Ulster feel under pressure and the game opens up. At 8 – 3 going in to the latter stage it’s still a very cagey affair with two defences on top.

“What we’re pleased with is the improvement week on week and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Asked how, as backs coach, he can go about improving the attacking efficiency once they are set up inside the 22, Dempsey adds:

We just have to keep playing, keep trying to be accurate when we are in training, making sure to take those chances when they appear.

 ”We identified a few things where we could be better when we went to the 22: we split our resources and didn’t really work as a team or put Ulster under pressure with overlaps or mismatches, so it’s an area we’ve highlighted.”

“We knew we had to be on form to play. We were very pleased with a lot of aspects of it, we know we’ve got to continually be better and improve our standards.”

Sean O'Brien and Fergus McFadden Morgan Treacy / INPHO Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

Unfortunately for Leinster’s attack, one of their regular standard bearers looks set to miss the trip to Glasgow and potentially the meetings with Clermont over the following fortnight.

The province last night confirmed that Sean O’Brien is being treated for vestibular impairment – an inner ear condition which can present symptoms of dizziness and disturbed vision. The powerful flanker is taking a limited part in this week’s early training sessions after the problem was diagnosed last week.

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