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drico injury fears ease

The "really positive picture" painted by Leinster coach Joe Schmidt about Brian O'Driscoll's sprained ankle on Saturday was confirmed by a scan yesterday.

O'Driscoll's injury enforced withdrawal from the 59-22 nine-try crushing of Cardiff Blues in the PRO12 League will not be long term.

"He felt he could play on. There was a bit of swelling around his ankle, but it wasn't puffed up massively. We think he sprained his ankle. We will probably get him scanned to be sure," said Schmidt.

"I will defer to the medical team as to whether that will take place. Initial prognosis would be that he should certainly be up on his feet training at the latest next week. The man bounces back so fast, you just don't know with Brian.

"I thought Brian had a real edge to him. He has been frustrated with his last two performances and he is a man who judges himself very harshly. He has very high standards," said Schmidt.

On a collective basis, Leinster found the rhythm, synchronisation and low number of mistakes that have been the hallmark of their domination of Europe over three of the last four seasons.

Sadly, it came two weeks too late to have any influence over the Heineken Cup where the champions trail Clermont Auvergne by two bonus points in Pool Five.

Leo Cullen had the cut of a contented captain as he entered into a give-and-take over how elusive form has been and the knock-on effect on Leinster's place in two competitions. It is just as well they had been able to win ugly.

This time, there was nothing ugly about the way Leinster carved up an embarrassing Cardiff, who looked rudderless and leaderless with a listless Sam Warburton at the helm.

"I thought we played with good intensity, good tempo. If I'm being honest, they were pretty soft in the tackle. It was probably a combination of both," said Cullen.

Leinster were also able to tack on nine tries in one go where they had managed just 14 in the six previous league matches.

"Yeah, it was nice to get a few tries on the board," he added. "That is the type of rugby we enjoy playing. There were aspects of it that were pleasing, for sure.


"I just don't think we've been firing on all cylinders. That can be difficult. There is a lot of pressure you have to deal with. For whatever reason, it just hasn't quite clicked for us."

Leinster will be stripped of their Ireland internationals when they travel to their nemesis, the Ospreys, for a Sunday evening appointment and over to Glasgow Warriors on Friday, November 23.

"We've got a different challenge over the next couple of weeks. A lot of that team that started won't be with us. It will give plenty of guys an opportunity to stake a claim," said Cullen.

"It was great to have Dave Kearney and Rhys Ruddock, two guys coming back from long-term injuries, with us. There will be a few more over the next few weeks."


Centre Eoin O'Malley could be back for the Ospreys and extra depth will be required at centre where Brian O'Driscoll and Gordon D'Arcy will leave a hole in skills and experience.

Utility back Fergus McFadden (head wound) will probably move into the midfield.

Kevin McLaughlin (head) and Jordi Murphy (stinger) should be ready to go against the Ospreys.

New Zealand utility back Andrew Goodman -- he can play at fly-half -- has arrived in Dublin and the able playmaker and goal-kicker could be pitched straight into the action given Jonathan Sexton's obligations to Ireland.