Wednesday 7 December 2016

Dooley eager to seize every chance

Published 02/12/2016 | 02:30

Peter Dooley of Leinster during squad training at UCD in Belfield, Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Peter Dooley of Leinster during squad training at UCD in Belfield, Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

For all of Leinster's shortcomings in the defeat to the Scarlets last weekend, the front-row's review session on Monday morning didn't make for as uncomfortable viewing as some of the other positions in the team.

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While Leo Cullen will have been disappointed by the manner of the defeat, his side did play most of the game with 14 players.

With the international players due to be reintegrated back into full training over the coming days, Peter Dooley knows only too well that tomorrow's game against the Dragons is another big chance for him to stake his claim.

"100pc launch from the front-row, so it wasn't too bad on our ball, it was probably one of the positives from the match," Dooley maintained.

"It's tough. Obviously, we're scrummaging with seven men so it's hard against a good Scarlets outfit. I thought we did alright against them.

"I suppose there was probably more negatives from the game than positives. To get the losing the bonus point would be one of the main things alright.

"To give them a 21-3 lead is obviously not ideal and the whole perspective of the game changes. You're playing catch-up for most of the game instead of controlling things and that kind of let us down."

With the return of the Champions Cup just around the corner, competition for places is rife, particularly in the front-row.

Jack McGrath, Cian Healy, Sean Cronin and Tadhg Furlong will all come back into the equation which means that the likes of Dooley must seize every opportunity.

"It's frustrating alright," the Offaly native admitted.

"The competition for loosehead is fairly hot in Leinster at the minute. I suppose with the lads gone away on international duty you want to leave the jersey in a better place than where you picked it up from.

"I suppose it is a tough place to go, we haven't won there since 2013, and obviously the start didn't help, so it's a pity alright, but you have to refocus and move on to the next one."

Irish Independent

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