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Jennings eyes Blue backlash

SHANE JENNINGS wants Leinster to banish the memories of their humiliating 34-6 defeat to Connacht when they face off with Munster this weekend.

Leinster's usually watertight defence coughed up five tries last Friday with their attack looking as sharp as a sledgehammer.

For the three-time conquerors of Europe it was an unacceptable performance and Jennings ranks it as one of the most abysmal displays he has endured on a rugby field.

"We'll all learn from it because it was one of the worst performances I've ever been involved with," he said.

"There were young lads in that dressing-room who weren't used to that situation. They'll learn from it."

A straight-talking meeting at Leinster HQ on Monday morning was no doubt packed with some home truths and Jennings is hopeful that the warnings and instructions dished out are heeded on Saturday night.

"There is a difference from being vocal and seeing those words put into actions. So that's what we need," he added.

"Things have been said in the past and we haven't acted on them so the most important thing is that we kind of back-up what's been said.

"Some of the words from the senior lads have been positive and very constructive and everyone needs to buy into that because it is too big a week and too big of a block of games with the Heineken Cup coming up, to let it slip.

"We haven't played as well as we should have, we haven't done things in games as well as we could have and we need to improve on that.

"On a personal side, players need to take responsibility and not let this happen because as much as Joe feels under pressure, the players are under pressure because no one wants to do well as much as the players."

Jennings has dismissed any suggestions that Munster are not the force they once were.

"They are as tough as nails and fiercely competitive at the breakdown and with talent out wide. They still have the basics of a very good side," he said.

"It is very naive of people to say that they are not the team they were."

Meanwhile, Eric Elwood would be willing to step down ahead of schedule should Connacht recruit a successor before the end of the season.

At an emotional press conference in Galway, the departing Elwood explained how his 24-year involvement with Connacht rugby had consumed him "24/7" and expressed a willingness to step aside if it was required.

"I will bow to whatever they want to do and if they feel they've got the person they want and he's ready to go, that's important to me," said Elwood.


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