Friday 23 August 2019

'Leinster will be more cynical and streetwise than Munster were' - Luke Fitzgerald backs Blues

Leinster's Rob Kearney
Leinster's Rob Kearney
Rob Kearney believes another Champions Cup for Leinster will boost Ireland’s World Cup campaign. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

John Morley

Leinster will need to be "more cynical" than Munster if they are to beat Saracens in the Champions Cup final, says former Ireland international Luke Fitzgerald.

Leinster will be looking for a fifth Champions Cup crown while Saracens will look to right their quarter-final exit at the hands of Leinster last year when the sides meet in Saturday's final.

Fitzgerald was perplexed by Munster's inability to defend with the same ferocity and cynicism as Saracens in their semi-final clash.

"Leinster will be more cynical and streetwise than Munster were, with the blocking of lines," he said on this week's episode of The Left Wing.

"Particularly (Darren) Sweetman… You'd think he'd understand blocking lines, helping a guy out if there's a ball in the air. You'd just think he'd understand where it's going to break and what angle to take to push a guy out to the channel."

Fitzgerald argued that Sweetman left the Munster defence very vulnerable as he didn't protect his teammates when they were jumping up under Saracens' kicks to their defence.

"There's a channel where you're going in to collect the ball, if you're going in straight and they're coming in from the side they can really only get one hand up… once you dominate that space in between their angler is off and they don't really get to attack the person in the air," he said.

Fitzgerald is confident that Rob Kearney will have the edge needed to counteract the powerful Saracens attack and that he will bring the cynicism needed to protect their fullback line.

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"I don't think Leinster will have that issue and I think Rob Kearney is going to be better there," added Fitzgerald.

"It's interesting that we are still talking about the battle in the air, it can still decide tight games where defences are going to be tight because you may have to kick it there," he added.

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