Wednesday 21 February 2018

Sean Cronin warns Leinster: It's do or die for our season in Europe

Sean Cronin knows Leinster's season is on the line against Toulon on Sunday
Sean Cronin knows Leinster's season is on the line against Toulon on Sunday
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Sean Cronin says Leinster must produce their best performance of the last number of seasons if they are depose European champions Toulon.

The hooker admitted that the Blues' season is on the line on Sunday after their Guinness Pro12 title defence hit the rocks in Newport last weekend and says his team's backs are against the wall as they face a "massive" test.

Leinster are likely to be without Wallaby Kane Douglas for the Stade Velodrome semi-final as he continues to struggle with a back injury.

Shane Jennings is touch and go after suffering concussion last weekend. Leinster trained at their UCD base yesterday and Ireland hooker Cronin is clear on the task that lies ahead.

"There's no point beating around the bush, it (the season) is in the balance. It is a massive game in terms of our season," he said.

"It is totally out of our hands in terms of the league play-offs. This is probably do or die.

"Most definitely, individually and collectively, some lads are going to have to play the best they've played this season, in a few seasons, if we are going to come any way close to a result."

Despite the odds being stacked against the three-time European champions reaching a fourth final, Cronin says Leinster are determined to have a cut.

"We're going down there to play. We're going down there to give it a lash, so to speak," he added.

"We're going down to try and play the way we wanted to play and the way we have, at times, this season. We're going to give it a right go, try and move the ball and put them under pressure.

"It is a certain case of backs-to-the-wall stuff for us.

"I think we're 11 or 12 points with the bookies, something like that, so it's safe to say people aren't giving us much of a chance going down there.

"Maybe it could be a good thing that we're underdogs with a backs-to-the-wall-type mentality.

"We're trying to develop a game-plan that we'll try to implement this week and backed up with the intensity and desire."

Irish Independent

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