Cronin counting on Castres to bring trademark physicality

Leo Cullen

By Des Berry

Leinster hooker Seán Cronin only has eyes for Castres Olympique.

The French clubs can be notoriously suspicious about the value of the Champions Cup and Castres are down and out of the competition, already.

Of course, the fact that Leinster are level on points with Harlequins in Pool Two with Wasps a mere point off the pace brings the absolute necessity for points into focus.

"We're primarily focused on Castres and we're not looking any further ahead. There's a huge focus on just getting the win," he said.

It will all hang on the early exchanges. If Leinster can strike early and often, it could prompt a Castres collapse.

"Whatever team they send over will be physical.

"For us, the start of the game will be massive, we need to get the crowd into the game."

The home support hasn't exactly been pro-active. It has tended to wait for Leinster to give them a reason to get behind them.

It is not an unconditional relationship, no matter how many times the management and players talk-up the atmosphere at The RDS.

"Yeah, well, we know that the crowd expect a lot," acknowledged Cronin.

"They have enjoyed a lot of success over the last number of years, so we know that we have to go out and perform, get the crowd behind us and give them something to shout about.

"It would help us to get into the game as well. We know that we have to produce performances every week and we haven't been too happy overall with how we've been going

"But, we have developed over the last number of weeks, maybe the last month or so, aspects of our game."

Given the tight nature of Pool Two, Leinster will look to secure a decent lead first before turning their attention towards a bonus-point.

"Yeah, well you can see how tight the group is, how competitive the group is," he added.

"Castres have caused us a lot of problems and the start is pivotal.

"The quicker we can get into the game and stamp our authority, we'll see what happens after that."