Monday 23 April 2018

Leinster boss Leo Cullen hails moment of magic from young guns James Ryan and Dan Leavy

Leinster's Dan Leavy (left) and Saracens' George Kruis
Leinster's Dan Leavy (left) and Saracens' George Kruis
David Kelly

David Kelly

Leinster coach Leo Cullen hailed the impact of young guns James Ryan and Dan Leavy after booking their place in a Champions Cup semi-final at home to Scarlets, where they will seek to avenge their PRO 14 semi-final defeat in Dublin last season.

Ryan was pivotal in turning over a Saracens line-out on Leinster's five-metre line just before half-time before combining with Leavy for a clinical second-half try which turned the tide in their favour.

"That was a big moment," Cullen said of that last-gasp rearguard action in the opening half.

"Defences win championships and we were shown up in some respects against Clermont and Scarlets last season when we ended up chasing the game. So it's important we are in control.

"So that gave us a positive moment going into the second-half. We had been a little bit passive in the first-half and allowed them to eat up yards and force a penalty.

"We needed to be braver and more aggressive in the second-half. We carried well and were more accurate and then Dan and James combined for that try before James Lowe got himself over for that try.

"James Ryan has been earmarked for quite a while, such a big physical specimen. He is always looking to improve and he is very competitive. He is still a young man and hopefully he will get better and better.

"And then Dan was outstanding, strong in the carry and in the thick of everything. All the players worked incredibly hard."

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