Sunday 25 September 2016

Time to turn up heat - Fogarty

Published 01/04/2016 | 02:30

Leinster Rugby stars, from left, Ross Molony, Garry Ringrose, Josh van der Flier are joined by Caoimhe Power (16) of Navan RFC and Sean Dunne (16), second from right, of Lansdowne FC at Donnybrook Stadium to mark the launch of the Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby School of Excellence which will run in The King's Hospital School, Palmerstown in July and August
Leinster Rugby stars, from left, Ross Molony, Garry Ringrose, Josh van der Flier are joined by Caoimhe Power (16) of Navan RFC and Sean Dunne (16), second from right, of Lansdowne FC at Donnybrook Stadium to mark the launch of the Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby School of Excellence which will run in The King's Hospital School, Palmerstown in July and August

Leinster forwards coach John Fogarty is demanding his players to bring more intensity to their play for tomorrow's crucial inter-pro derby against Munster at the Aviva Stadium.

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Defeat in Galway last week means that Leinster have now lost two games on the bounce and Fogarty wants to see his side play with "good energy".

Munster come into the game on the back of an impressive performance and despite the fact that it was against a poor Zebre outfit, Fogarty knows that Leinster need to make plenty of improvements if they are to avoid a third consecutive defeat.

Leinster enjoyed a comfortable 24-7 victory in Limerick earlier in the season which inflicted a fifth straight defeat on their old rivals and as a Cork native who played with Munster for two years, he is only too aware that they will arrive in Dublin looking to do something similar to his side.

"They are fourth at the moment and doing really well," he said. "In the last three games they have scored 14 tries. They really are going very well. It's going to be a physical match and we will be turning up at that game very sure about what we need to do.

"And bringing that good energy is always so important in those games -that energy in every part of the match. We need to look at ourselves to see if we brought that at every stage of the game (last weekend).

"From the Connacht game to the Munster game we need to be sure about how we use the ball. There were a few kicks that were disappointing.

"We need to use the ball well and if we get three or four opportunities, that we take them. The margins are very small in those tight matches. We are coming to that point in the season where there are four games left and teams are vying for the top four positions.

"We are looking for a home semi-final. We can't get too disappointed with last week's game and not too excited about this week's. We need a level head and to be clear about what we need to be good at."

Reflecting on the defeat to Connacht, Fogarty is expecting his side to be more clinical in taking the chances that come their way but he admitted that the Westerners made it difficult for Leinster.

"You want to go out and you want to score tries, you want to get the results. So yeah, you would be disappointed not to get a return on it," he conceded.

"We pressed hard, we pressed very, very hard in that latter part of that second-half, and at different times we were close, we created some opportunities as well. We created some good opportunities but just didn't get the result.

"Again, we've got to look and see how do we use that ball and make improvements there, certainly we can, and if we find ourselves in that position again what can we do differently."

Despite the recent defeats, Leinster remain in prime position to seal a home semi-final but Fogarty knows that there are plenty of plot twists still to come this season.

"You've got a number of teams vying for that fourth slot, third slot, the top two is going to be fought for. That last day, if you look at that last day, it's going to be really exciting.

"You're going to see chopping and changes, there's pressure, the league has improved year on year, it's very, very competitive and that's what you want to see. You want to see that really, really competitive element.

"You look a little bit lower down and there are people fighting for that top-six position, so all the way you've got that scrap."

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