Sunday 17 December 2017

Schmidt praises star no 10

LEINSTER coach Joe Schmidt believes Ian Madigan is coming out of the shadow cast by Jonathan Sexton and is taking his career in the right direction, writes Hugh Farrelly.

Madigan turned in an impressive performance against the Cardiff Blues last night, scoring a try as Leinster romped to a 52-9 victory to put them top of the Pro 12 table.

"Yeah, he's getting there," said Schmidt. "There is a big shadow cast by Jonny and it is good to see Ian coming out of that. There is a full spectrum to what he can deliver. He is a good defender, he directed the game pretty well tonight and his passing game is really improving. He has got really good balance and is very quick to spot an opportunity and go for it and his kicking game is coming on.

"He still has lots to work on but I think Ian is making really good progress."

Schmidt stressed the need to keep his players feet on the ground ahead of next week's Heineken Cup showdown with Bath: "We have to put that game in context because they were missing a lot of players. Penalties are always on my mind and one thing is for sure, we know we can't give opportunities to Stephen Donald or Ollie Barkley next weekend."

Irish Independent

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