Friday 20 September 2019

Ringrose targeting breakdown improvements as he expects Bath to bring an edge to Aviva

Garry Ringrose: ‘If it wasn’t one of them putting pressure on the breakdown, it was one of the backs or the other forwards.’ Photo: Sportsfile
Garry Ringrose: ‘If it wasn’t one of them putting pressure on the breakdown, it was one of the backs or the other forwards.’ Photo: Sportsfile

Rúaidhrí O'Connor

Garry Ringrose has called on his Leinster colleagues to fix their issues at the breakdown as they prepare for a Bath backlash at the Aviva Stadium tomorrow.

The centre believes his team have scope for major improvements in the tackle area after conceding a number of turnovers to the twin threats of Sam Underhill and Francois Louw last weekend.

The European champions endured a sticky afternoon's work at the Rec and were somewhat fortunate to emerge with a win.

And Ringrose says they will be better as they look to keep pace with pool leaders Toulouse who welcome Wasps to France.

"It is such an important part of the game," the Ireland star said of the ruck.

"You can have the best-laid plans, and ultimately if you don't win your ball, get quick ball, it's tough to play in.

"I wouldn't even call it a tactic by them, they just have world-class players in those positions, that they could disrupt us.

"It wouldn't even be specifically against us, you see any team that Bath play, they get huge access through that with the quality of players they have.

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"I think we were definitely conscious of it going in to the game, but if it's possible to have an even more heightened awareness of the threats they have - not just Underhill and Louw - they've threats right across the pack and guys who can come on as well.

"If it wasn't one of them putting pressure on the breakdown, it was one of the backs or the other forwards. It will be a big part of the game."

Leinster have been working on negating the influence of those threats in training this week, with ball placement and footwork key.

"I think a combination of a couple of things," Ringrose said.

"It's about getting a few more positive carries, if the ball carrier looks after the ball that bit better, then we get better access and entry into the ruck, but even at that, there were times we'd have good carries and get over the gain-line, but they'd guys who were so dangerous and get in on the ball, so trying to win that space as early as possible.

"It's a huge part of the game, I think they got four (steals) each, between the pair of them, but to solely focus on that... I know they'll bring that and more... to focus just on 'if we fix our ruck, it'll be a better game'... I don't think that'll be the case, it's one of a couple of elements we'll have to hone in on."

Leo Cullen names his team for tomorrow's game at noon, with captain Johnny Sexton the chief concern after he suffered a calf injury. Ross Byrne starts if he's not fit.

The coach is likely to rejig his back-row after starting Dan Leavy at No 8 last weekend, with Jack Conan likely to come back into the side. Scott Fardy is another option to come into the team.

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