Thursday 29 September 2016

We're learning as we go but can still salvage our Euro campaign, insists Boss

Published 23/11/2015 | 02:30

Bath's George Ford skips past Leinster's Isaac Boss at The Rec on Saturday
Bath's George Ford skips past Leinster's Isaac Boss at The Rec on Saturday

His body language may have said otherwise but a defiant Isaac Boss believes that Leinster can still make the knockout stages of the Champions Cup.

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Leinster can perhaps take some sort of solace from the fact that last season, having lost their opening two games, Bath qualified for the quarter-finals but admittedly they didn't have a back-to-back date with Toulon to contend with but rather a Montpellier side whose interests had already lay elsewhere.

"Yeah, definitely," Boss insisted when asked if Leinster can save their European campaign.

"We've got to win all the rest of our matches to put ourselves in that position. We might need a bit of luck but we've got to be positive.

"We've got to put ourselves in the position that if a couple of teams get out of our pool then we're that second team. We'll worry about that in two weeks, that's the nature of the beast.

"Everyone is quick to jump on the bandwagon whether it is doom or gloom or the positive thing but that is the way it goes.

"It is those small margins. We fought back well and got into a position to win it but were just a bit inaccurate.

"There is a lot to play for. There is a long way to go yet so we'll see what happens."

If last week's experience was a major learning curve for Leo Cullen, then he faces another now as he looks to ensure that his side's Pro12 campaign doesn't go awry as well.

Boss, however, believes that Cullen is doing everything within his power to steady the Leinster ship.

"The boys have nothing but respect for what Leo is about," the scrum-half said.

"He definitely has the tools in there and the boys are enjoying having him in charge and what is happening in training and stuff like that.

"It's obviously disappointing on our behalf and there are a lot of guys coming back. Rightly or wrongly there are a lot of other guys fitting in to another way of playing the game so we are all learning as we go.

"We had them on the ropes once or twice. It's that next ruck, it's the next play. You gotta be able to recycle the ball at the crucial times, on their goal line once or twice, keep the hammer on and not let them out of their end. It's the small things.

"If we got one or two of those things right we would have been all over the game. That's the disappointing thing because we all know that."

Bath coach Mike Ford knows what it's like to have your back against the wall after just two games of this tournament and he isn't writing Leinster off just yet either.

"We lost our first two games, we only had a point and topped the group. The way we handled it, we didn't even think about qualifying and we went to Montpellier," Ford insisted.

"That was the next game, we won that and all of a sudden you are back in the frame."

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