Saturday 10 December 2016

Schmidt laments Leinster naivety

Published 19/09/2011 | 05:00

19 September 2011; Leinster head coach Joe Schmidt during a press conference ahead of their Celtic League game against Scarlets on Saturday. Leinster Rugby Squad Press Conference, Thornfields, UCD, Belfield, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
19 September 2011; Leinster head coach Joe Schmidt during a press conference ahead of their Celtic League game against Scarlets on Saturday. Leinster Rugby Squad Press Conference, Thornfields, UCD, Belfield, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

It is unlikely the school with the worst truancy record in the country has as big an issue with absenteeism as Joe Schmidt. Denied the services of his big hitters touring New Zealand, the Leinster coach has since had to deal with a mounting injury list. "We're 23 men down and counting," said Schmidt after Saturday's disappointing four-point defeat to Glasgow.

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It showed. While it is all well and good giving youth a chance, the problem with learning your trade on the job is the merciless attitude opponents have for you.

Take Glasgow on Saturday. Outplayed for the majority of this game, the Scots showed a streetwise knowledge at the breakdown that Leinster simply didn't possess.

"We are trying to get some sort of balance between those who are learning and our experienced men," said Schmidt. "We have such a young side out there at the moment. We are making obvious errors."

The most blatant of all came in defence. Ahead 6-0 following two penalties from Isa Nacewa, Leinster then coughed up the softest of tries when two missed tackles resulted in lock forward, Nick Campbell, crossing the line. Yet back came Leinster. Ian Madigan scored his second impressive try in a week and three more kicks from Nacewa gave Leinster a six-point lead deep into the second half. It should have given them a platform for victory.

Instead, a serious lack of concentration resulted in Glasgow scoring their second try, Peter Horne applying the finishing touches.

LEINSTER -- I Nacewa; F Carr, E O'Malley, L Fitzgerald (B Macken 67), K Kearney; I Madigan, C Willis (J Cooney 74); H van der Merwe, R Strauss, J Hagan (N White 47); K McLaughlin (D Browne 66), D Toner; R Ruddock, D Ryan (J Murphy 46), L Auva'a (A Dundon 67).

Glasgow -- S Hogg; F Aramburu, R Dewey (P Horne 57), T Nathan, C Shaw; S Wight (D Weir h-t), H Pyrgos (C Gregor 60); R Grant, F Gillies (P McArthur h-t), E Kalman (M Cusack h-t); T Ryder, N Campbell (J Eddie 60); R Harley, C Fusaro, R Pitman.

REF -- Andrew McMenemy (SRU)

Irish Independent

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