Saturday 22 July 2017

Fogarty wary of Buckley threat at breakdown

Leinster scrum coach John Fogarty. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Leinster scrum coach John Fogarty. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Barry Lennon

John Fogarty has warned of the threat Connacht's Denis Buckley will pose at the Sportsground if Leinster allow him the opportunity tomorrow.

The scrum coach fears slips-ups he observed during the 20-18 victory over Ospreys last weekend in Wales will be punished if the loosehead prop gets the chance.

"We were a little bit loose with the ball in hand when we went to ground against Ospreys," Fogarty said.

"We know that if we are in any way loose with the ball against Connacht they will take it off us. Denis Buckley does a great job, the ball he turns over for a loosehead is unbelievable.

"It's a huge part of the game, making sure that we control collisions and putting ourselves in the right part of the pitch and putting pressure on them and having momentum in our game. It's a huge part of it."

Guinness PRO12 champions Connacht have not been able to hit the heights of last season but they are still in the hunt for a Champions Cup place, and the Sportsground remains a formidable venue for opposing teams - they have won nine of their last 10 games there, with only Munster breaking the sequence.

Leinster themselves haven't claimed victory in Connacht in the past two seasons and prepare for tomorrow's clash - a re-match of last year's PRO12 final.

"We will absolutely get that intensity. You look at Connacht's home games this year so far and they are really difficult games to play," Fogarty added.

"Opposition teams really struggle, and all the way through Champions Cup Connacht have been an incredibly difficult team to play against when you have the ball.

"Then when they have the ball they are a deadly team. They can stretch you in defence, they use the kicking game quite well this year in attack, so we are expecting a lot of intensity.

"It's about making sure when we have the ball that we can take them through phases."

Laurels

With Connacht returning to winning ways in Edinburgh last weekend, Leo Cullen's men, Fogarty assures supporters, will not be resting on their laurels.

"In the competition, teams may have adjusted to how they attack in, they still find it really hard to defend against them," Fogarty explained.

"I know Stuart (Lancaster) is excited about this week, because this is a unique team to defend against, the attack in a different way to a lot of other teams and they have that ambition to attack which creates a lot of opportunities."

Irish Independent

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