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Ospreys must be respected

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Leinster forwards coach Jono Gibbes. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Leinster forwards coach Jono Gibbes. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Leinster forwards coach Jono Gibbes. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

FORWARDS coach Jono Gibbes is confident Leinster "won't get caught out thinking about five points at home to the Ospreys".

He continued: "That would be disrespectful to them and we certainly won't be doing that.

"When it comes to the game, we have to get our noses in front of the Ospreys and stay there."

The gold rush for points has become valid given how the round five results have thrown up a different number of possible scenarios going into the final weekend.

It is difficult to pinpoint just how disadvantaged Leinster will be by the simple fact that they will be first on stage at the RDS this Friday night.

That leaves others, most noticeably Munster and Clermont-Auvergne, to wait until Sunday to know exactly what they have to do to make it into a home quarter-final.

PROBLEMS

Leinster know from hard experience what problems the Ospreys can pose in Dublin, having executed Grand Final wins there in 2010 and 2012.

"I think they are a team which has given us a lot of trouble historically and I don't see it being any different this week," stated Gibbes.

"First of all, we have just got to look at what is in front of us, deal with it, and make sure we are ready for the Ospreys because they always put it up to us.

"I don't expect it will be any different on Friday night," he said.

Of course, this is not a side of equal stature with wing wizard Shane Williams retired and Tommy Bowe relocated to Ulster.

The Ospreys also have nothing tangible to play for at this point, not even the possibility of involvement in the latter stages of the Amlin Challenge Cup.

There is also the Leinster issue of the collateral damage from that physically exhausting encounter against Castres Olympique on Sunday.

Flanker Kevin McLaughlin must have been out on his feet for the 52 minutes he lasted after a series of injuries since November.

INJURIES

The likelihood is that Rhys Ruddock will be restored to the starting fifteen, along with the possible inclusion of openside Shane Jennings in light of how Jordi Murphy's lack of big-game experience told against him in the finer details of the game.

Although it was a credit to Murphy how he kept the engine ticking over long enough to get on the end of Cian Healy's incisive break for the match-winning try.

The five-day turnaround will not serve the players too well. Healy will have to put his shoulder to the wheel after making a miraculous recovery from a foot injury, originally estimated at eight to 10 weeks, but working out four weeks quicker than anticipated.

"It was a tremendous boost to get back after four weeks of rehabilitation. That certainly wouldn't be the norm," said Gibbes.

"It is a credit to him for doing everything properly and to the people looking after him, the medical staff and the strength and conditioning boys."


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