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Gibbes eyeing Blue backlash

LEINSTER forwards coach Jono Gibbes surely knows how the All Blacks feel -- delivering under intense pressure is the name of the professional game.

The All Blacks joined South Africa and Australia as two-time winners of the World Cup. "It's been 24 years. From now on, the All Blacks should be able to go to World Cups and actually enjoy the experience rather than the pressure," Gibbes said.

Gibbes must have got a glimpse of what he jokingly called the "armageddon" the All Blacks would have faced if they had fallen to France when Leinster returned to The Millennium Stadium dressing-room at half-time in the Heineken Cup final in May.

The nightmare moment had come. The heaviest of favourites were a 1,000 miles away from their destiny at 22-6 and looking like impostors in blue. From there, they clawed their way back towards glory. Joe Schmidt and Gibbes knew then that nothing was impossible as they joined Munster as twice winners of the European Cup.

Where to from there? Well, Leinster had to make do without their World Cup wonders and survive on meagre rations for the first six rounds of the PRO12 League.

Gibbes is a core member of a management team that has had to dip down to the third-choice out-half and the fourth choice scrum-half. There are lessons everywhere from the rebirth of Cillian Willis to the improvement of Ian Madigan.

Leinster recovered from a below-par start to the season to rebound with three heroic victories to stand solidly beside Munster in the race to reel in the unblemished Ospreys.

And so the journey starts again.

Those who returned from New Zealand will be fed back into their club over the next two matches, as Leinster look to prepare for the defence of the Heineken Cup, starting in Montpellier on November 12.

"There will be some World Cup players involved because there were some that didn't get a great deal of game time and then there are some others who had a heavier workload," said Gibbes. "We've put ourselves in a good position in the table.

"It will be a big challenge at Murrayfield, though, because they are a good side -- they obviously put Munster to the sword. We really struggled last year in this fixture. We'll be making sure that we're ready for it mentally."

There is only one way to prepare for Montpellier away. That is to win away in Edinburgh.