Saturday 21 September 2019

Byrne: We want to put hands up for Toulouse

Ed Byrne. Pic: Sportsfile
Ed Byrne. Pic: Sportsfile

Ryan Corry

Conference A versus Conference B. The leaders of the respective groupings in the Guinness PRO14 meet in the RDS Arena in Round 20 of the competition's regular season tomorrow.

Glasgow Warriors arrive in the Irish capital with a slender lead at the top of Conference A - only three points separate them from Munster.

They face their own tricky challenge tonight with a trip to the ever-improving Benetton who are also fighting for play-off rugby.

That leaves Munster supporters in a difficult situation - hoping that Leinster will do them a favour.

And the likelihood of that? Leinster prop Ed Byrne (right) adamantly denies that there will be any sense of complacency within their camp despite having already sealed a home semi-final.

"First, we're back in the RDS and it's a place where we hate to lose so we want to go out there for the fans and really give it a good go," says the Carlow man.

"We're a competitive group and everyone wants to put up their hand for the Toulouse game next week as well so there's a mixture of a few different things.

"The motivation is right up there and we're definitely going to really go after them now at home."

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That Champions Cup semi-final against Toulouse that Byrne mentions will be at the forefront of everyone's mind as Leinster's full regiment look to get their name in the 23-man squad for Easter Sunday.

While ambition will drive the selection that Leinster play against Glasgow, Devin Toner and Robbie Henshaw are two who have been made available this weekend after injury, there may still remain some elements of a hangover from their bruising clash with Benetton last Saturday.

The away side showed once more how far they have come under Kieran Crowley and after leading for almost all of the first half they didn't buckle once going behind, instead scoring a try at the death to claim a share of the points.

"It was a tough one because I thought we did well to fight back into the game after being behind for nearly 70 minutes and then to get our noses in front, it was a tough one to go and concede in the last play," adds Byrne, who came on in the unfamiliar position of No 8.

"There was some massive 'D-sets' at different times of the game and just, unfortunately, they snuck over at the end.

"We ended up defending for huge amounts of the game so just to try and hold the ball and get into our flow a bit better. Obviously, defensively, we conceded that maul try so the forwards went through that and ways we can defend that bit better."

Tomorrow in the RDS is an opportunity for Byrne and Co to show that they can defend 'that bit better' as they get to the silverware end of the season.

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