Sunday 17 November 2019

Video: 'The Irish are good at milking penalties' - George Ford is a bit bitter after Leinster defeat

Ger Keville

Ger Keville

Bath try scorer George Ford has said that Leinster's ability to "milk penalties" was the reason they secured a semi-final spot in this year's Champions Cup following today's 18-15 win for the Irish side at the Aviva Stadium.

Ford has now tasted bitter defeat twice in Dublin in the space of a few weeks following Ireland's Six Nations win over the English on March 1.

That game failed to produce a try and despite Bath going over for two today, six penalties from the flawless Ian Madigan proved enough as Matt O'Connor's men marched on to the final four.

"Irish teams are very good at that. They are good at squeezing teams and trying to milk penalties and get penalties and build a score doing that. I think Leinster did that today as Ireland did to us against England," said Ford after the game.

"But we weren't good enough, we should have handled that better. We felt everything was in our control to get a result today."

Bath coach Mike Ford echoed his son's sentiments.

"If we were a little bit more accurate like George says, we would have caused a lot more problems," said Mike Ford.

"It was in our control we thought, even at 15-5 down at half-time. We were confident we could win the game. In the last 15 minutes I thought we were going to win because I thought our attacking principles were going to get them.

"But Leinster are a good side and they did really well at times and picked their points off."

Ireland came in for plenty of stick for their style of play during their victorious Six Nations campaign but Leinster boss Matt O'Connor praised his side for their defensive capabilities today.

“I thought we were pretty good defensively. We played in the right areas. We took our points when they were on offer. The scrum was outstanding,” the Australian reflected.

“We thought we could get a little bit of pay out of that with the six front rowers that we've got in our squad fit and healthy and I thought we did a fantastic job at getting dominance up there which was pretty important in an arm-wrestle like today.

“I don't know if we made it harder on ourselves. We were a little bit inaccurate.

“You would like to get over the paint but the reality is you play what is in front of you and if they infringe you have got to take your opportunities at this level because it is knock out rugby and points were at a premium.

“We've got some work to do, no question, but we'll take the result,” O’Connor added.

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