Friday 9 December 2016

'We let go of a lot of yardage and we can't do that over the next two weeks' - Leo Cullen

Published 08/10/2016 | 17:07

Robbie Henshaw of Leinster during the Guinness PRO12 Round 6 match between Leinster and Munster at the Aviva Stadium in Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Robbie Henshaw of Leinster during the Guinness PRO12 Round 6 match between Leinster and Munster at the Aviva Stadium in Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Leinster coach Leo Cullen warned his side that they must improve their defence as they face into a daunting Champions Cup fortnight against Castres and Northampton.

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The two captains, Peter O'Mahony and Isa Nacewa, scored tries during a bruising first half, with Jonathan Sexton's two early penalties helping Leinster to lead 11-7 at the break.

Leo Cullen's men put clear daylight between the teams with tries either side of the hour mark from Nacewa and replacement scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park, before South African recruit Jaco Taute claimed a consolation score for Munster.

“We had a good couple of reminders with the tries we conceded, we let go a lot of yardage and that is a warning as we face the two French teams in the next fortnight," Cullen said.

“We were guilty of getting a little tight at times. But our nine and ten controlled the game pretty well.

“We played the game in the right areas most of the times, we have worked hard on our defence and it is an evolving process under Stuart Lancaster.

“Munster had a lot of phases at times and we managed to hold them at bay at times.”

Leinster reported no fresh injury worries and Cullen added it was good to see Rob Henshaw play the full game.

“It was great to see him in blue at last! He was really abrasive, it’s hard to believe he hadn’t played yet and it was great he played the full game.

“We’ll have interesting discussions about midfield and I can’t say what the Irish management might do but there are some interesting calls for us ahead of Castres and Montpellier. Robbie can play 13 as well.”

Tadhg Furlong added: “It was a good warm-up for us ahead of two French teams.

“It was a bit stop start with scrums and lineouts, very physical. By and large, we coped with them well, we knew they’d come around the corners with big men and we managed that reasonably well.

“We were delighted with that in terms of the derby games. The maul defence wasn’t great, we let them get a lot of momentum. We need to stop that at source and that will be a major work-on for us.”

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