Sport Rugby

Monday 19 February 2018

Horgan holds hands up over 'unacceptable' defensive mistakes

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Shane Horgan has accepted Joe Schmidt's assertion that the Leinster players' poor tackling was their downfall in last weekend's defeat to Edinburgh.

The experienced winger missed a crucial tackle on Edinburgh's Tim Visser and was quick to take his share of the blame. Horgan says he is ready to improve and wants all of his team-mates to do the same ahead of the visit of Munster this Saturday.

The Leinster squad have pored over their heavy defeat in Murrayfield earlier this week and Horgan wants them to shift their focus towards halting their losing run and beating their old rivals at the new Aviva Stadium.

"I hold my hand up -- I missed a shocker at the weekend and it was very costly," he admitted.

"I think you need to hold your hand up as a player and say that's unacceptable -- and some of it has been. But I think we're big enough to do that and we're not afraid to do it, you know. hopefully, the fact we've acknowledged this, will mean we can go on and won't make those individual errors again.

"It's been quite introspective for the last couple of days. Guys are very disappointed at the performance on the weekend. It taints every aspect of your life, so there have been a few long faces.

"It's important that we brush last weekend's game aside, we've looked through the video to take what we can from it, so we must leave it behind now and get ready for the big challenge at the weekend. We're looking forward to that."

Horgan admits that while Leinster always want to beat their old rivals whenever they play, their poor start to the Magners League season means they now need to beat the league leaders on Saturday.

"It's important to get a win," he insisted. "We haven't had the opening to the season that we'd have liked. But we're playing in Dublin against Munster, so that's reason enough to want to win this week.

They are going for their own 'drive for five,' having beaten Munster on their last four outings, but, despite some lopsided scorelines over the past year, Horgan says there have been few comfortable evenings against the men in red.

"When you're playing Munster, it's equally difficult every time and equally rewarding at the same time. I've no doubt that'll be the case again this week."

Irish Independent

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