Sport Rugby

Saturday 17 February 2018

Dundon keen to help get Leinster back on right track

Leinster head coach Matt O'Connor
Leinster head coach Matt O'Connor
David Kelly

David Kelly

LEINSTER coach Matt O'Connor has abandoned the season of goodwill for his misfiring players as they bid to avoid a third successive defeat when they play Ulster tomorrow evening.

As both sides prepare to disappoint the sell-out RDS crowd by resting large swathes of their top stars due to IRFU player welfare demands, Leinster hooker Aaron Dundon has hinted at the Australian's despair after reverses against Northampton and Edinburgh.

"He's obviously disappointed with the last two weeks, especially after the great victory we had over in Northampton and the way that we played there," said Kiwi Dundon, whose media detail this week suggests he will be one of the reserves starting tomorrow evening.

"It was gut-wrenching. So he's disappointed because he knows we can do better. He's expecting a better performance from us this weekend.

"There's definitely been a few harsh words as there should be. We all know that the last two performances haven't been good enough. We have to back it up this weekend.

"He went through the video and tried to tell us where we were going wrong, where we were making mistakes and where we need to improve.


"Mainly it's about not picking up enough tries in the killer area, the opposition 22."

Ulster's Irish half-back duo Paddy Jackson and Paul Marshall will start for Mark Anscombe's visitors as the Irish provinces jostle with each other for top billing in the league heading into 2014.

"It's getting exciting with all the provinces at the top of the league," says scrum-half Marshall.

"Munster are in a good position with the run they've had while Leinster are always there and in the last couple of years we have also pushed ahead.

"It's certainly competitive when the Irish provinces play against each other around Christmas and there is always an added incentive to try and get one up on those guys, just as we did last year in Dublin."

While Marshall declares that Leinster hold no fear for his Ulster side, his half-back partner Paddy Jackson is also eyeing up a morale-boosting second successive regular league season win in Dublin.

"They'll be stinging a bit as it's been a long time since they've had two defeats on the bounce," said Jackson.

"We know that they'll be up for this game and we want to inflict a third defeat on them.

"We believe we have the ability and credentials to get a win at the RDS.

"We respect Leinster but we feel we're up there in contention and that's where we want to be."

Irish Independent

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