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Leinster keep it simple, clinical and ruthless at breakdown

GLASGOW travelled to The RDS with high hopes of an upset. Their recent form certainly suggested that such hopes were not unwarranted. Historically, Leinster have always struggled tactically when they come up against the Scots, whose ferocity and accuracy, particularly in the breakdown, makes them a thorn in any side.

If Glasgow figured that the home side were going to put on a show they were correct, but probably not in the manner that they envisaged.

Leinster went about their business by bulldozing their way up front in the early exchanges. The coach again has to be commended on his analysis of the opposition. Scottish sides traditionally feed off teams who try to play in a more unstructured, off-the-cuff manner. It normally gives them a chance to pilfer at the breakdown, frustrate sides and only enhances their own chances of playing the game with width and at a high tempo.

Leinster came out of the traps and efficiently overpowered the Scots around the fringes, where the visitors conceded far too much space. Leinster smelt blood early on, and with Devin Toner in the bin the Blues still managed to rack up 17 points by being simple and direct, ruthless at the breakdown and clinical in the way they picked off their scores.

Essentially the game was over at half-time and Glasgow looked a little shell-shocked.

Fans would have yearned for Leinster to come out after the break. However, realistically, with the five points in the bag, psychologically it would have been difficult not to go into defensive mode.

Leinster's bench yet again added some impact after stalemate dominated the first 20 minutes of the second half, with Shane Jennings and Isaac Boss adding much impetus and with Ian Madigan looking a more complete player as time goes on, it was cruise control for Leinster.

With the Bath victory over Montpellier, results could not have gone better for Leinster.

Ronan O'Gara's second winning drop goal in as many weeks almost defied belief. Munster's ability to shake off the gravest of challenges continues to serve them well, but I cannot help but feel they are still lacking one or two quality players to be true contenders -- although you would never dream of writing them off.

For the the champions, their strength in depth is serving them well, but more importantly the way the coach is utilising his men is testament to his man-management skills. Every game is taken in isolation and he plays his players depending on what approach he wants to take. This adaptability will keep Leinster sharp and the opposition on their toes as we look forward to the back-to-back games against Bath in December.


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