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Home rule to put Blues in control

THE beauty of the Heineken Cup is that you can't afford to give up points on home turf, especially when you have not been able to bring home four points from your first test.

Three home wins is almost always a pre-requisite.

The reality, however, is that Leinster coach Joe Schmidt would have taken your hand off if you offered him a draw going into the final quarter 10 points behind to a rampant Montpellier.

At the same time, he would have been deflated that Leinster could not turn a tide of possession in the last 20 minutes into more than a 16-all draw when their impact from the bench and superior fitness came into play.

This is the thin line between agony and ecstasy that coaches and players must walk without the safety net of more than one bad day at the office.

Leinster are already in 'must-win' territory.

The loss of a long-standing, 28-match undefeated home record to Glasgow Warriors in the PRO12 league eight weeks ago will frame part of the motivation behind the champions' build-up. Really, the lure of the competition is always enough to infuse all Irish clubs with the utmost will-to-win given they have been able to capture five out of the 16 finals.

There will be plenty of interest in the Bath-Montpellier confrontation at the Recreation Ground which will kick-off at the same time Leinster's will be winding down.

Win and they can look on in relative peace. Lose and the season will already be in need of extensive repair.

It has been noted how Leinster have not been at their best to this point.

This is the fourth match since the end of the World Cup. The players are in good nick. It was approximately this time last year that Leinster clicked into gear against Munster in the league.

It is time to show Glasgow what 'warriors' are really made of and subsequently take control of their own destiny by moving to the top of Pool Three.

Leinster v Glasgow Warriors, The RDS, Sunday 12.45 (live SKY SPORTS 3)

Verdict: Leinster


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