Saturday 7 December 2019

Fogarty braced for 'physical' challenge

Leinster coach John Fogarty Picture: Sportsfile
Leinster coach John Fogarty Picture: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Of all the challenges that Leinster have faced this season, the toughest came away in Montpellier back in October when the French side's bruising pack left the visitors on the back foot.

That Leinster managed to maintain their composure and come away with a losing bonus point represented a decent result but as they welcome Montpellier to the RDS this evening, their focus will be on exacting revenge and sealing a win that would book their passage to the knockout stages.

Montpellier are Leinster's closest challengers in the pool and Jake White will know that a win in Dublin would put them right back into contention.

Leinster's scrum coach John Fogarty admitted that his side know what to expect from Montpellier but that won't make it any less difficult to cope with.

"They are physically very, very big," Fogarty said. "We probably over-carried over there. We got caught held up high in our carry, didn't get to ground. We couldn't clean effectively at ruck time.

"When you have Jake White, who is an excellent coach, defensively, they are very, very good. They have a wall of 13, 14 players at times.

"You need to find space and you need to kick smartly to them. We didn't kick very smartly in that away fixture. It is something we need to do well.

"We got our carry right and we played the right parts of the field and we got some nice tempo into the game.

"That is really, really important for us leading into this game. It is a huge, huge game. A home quarter is what we want. Winning this game will go a long way towards that."

Fogarty brushed off any fears that Leinster would be coming into the game undercooked, having enjoyed a facile win over Zebre last week.

Their opponents on the other hand came through a tough encounter against Bordeaux but, nevertheless, Fogarty isn't concerned.


"It is not a concern for us. You can look into that in different ways. Sometimes a tough game can wear you down. You can be tired. For us, you can be fresh.

"They did a good job against us the last time out. They will look to do the same.

"A huge amount hasn't changed. It will be all eyes on their selection to see who will play against us. I don't think their plan has changed too much.

"They've travelled well as well. This myth doesn't really apply to Montpellier because of the international influence on that team. They've travelled well in the Top 14. They're still in this competition."

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, tickets to Ireland's against Scotland in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

Irish Independent

The Left Wing: The problem with the Champions Cup, the Stephen Larkham effect and trouble in Welsh rugby

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport