Sunday 19 November 2017

Fogarty warns Leinster they must up their game

Leinster scrum coach John Fogarty. Photo: Sportsfile
Leinster scrum coach John Fogarty. Photo: Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Leinster departed Dublin last night in the midst of the soft launch of the domestic season, but when they return from playing the Southern Kings and Cheetahs they will go right into the busy period of the campaign.

The interprovincial meeting with Munster in Round 6 is the traditional signalling that the rugby season is getting more serious, but the return of the Lions against Richard Cockerill's improved Edinburgh will get the ball properly rolling.

The plane that left for the southern hemisphere last night was bereft of a whole host of big names, but such is Leinster's squad depth that they can still send a team across the world that is more than capable of winning both games against the newcomers still struggling to find their feet.

Ten points from their first two games gives them some room to breathe as they continue to leave their old slow starters tag in the past, but the coaching staff are demanding improvements as the real business of the campaign edges ever closer.

"We've gotten good results, they're pleasing; the outcome looks good but the process of how we've gotten there hasn't always been pretty," scrum coach John Fogarty said.

"So, we've a job of work to do and we're very aware of that.

"We've these two games to come, then we've got Edinburgh who have gotten a lot out of their first two games and they're fired up with Cockerill at the helm, then we've got Munster in the Aviva and then we've got Europe. We're building towards something.

"These two games are bloody important now; so that when we come home we can readjust... there will be a group here (in Dublin) that will be likely to be involved when we come home, we need to build cohesion and get it right."

On paper, Friday's bonus-point win over Cardiff was a job well done but the nature of the performance was such that the coaching staff are keen to see improvements made.

"We're not overly happy with how we performed against Cardiff, I certainly am not," Fogarty said.

"It worked out in the end with some nice bits, but we put ourselves under pressure when we didn't need to and then we started to force things.

"It's understanding when we need to play and build pressure on the opposition, tag on points and let the game develop and open up for ourselves instead of forcing things and not quite getting it right... Coming in at half-time and re-set our heads.

"We need to get better at those moments against Kings and Cheetahs when we're under pressure we need to alleviate it the right way... They're the learnings that we can take out of this trip so that when we play against Edinburgh and on to Munster, and so on, we can grow."

After their long journey,and without a slew of experienced players, Leinster's young squad could be forgiven for a lapse this week but the staff are insisting they don't let their standards drop.

Leinster squad (to tour South Africa) - Forwards: M Bent, E Byrne, J Conan, S Cronin, M Deegan, P Dooley, C Healy, M Kearney, R Molony, J Murphy, A Porter, R Ruddock, J Ryan, J Tracy, J van der Flier. Backs: A Byrne, R Byrne, J Carbery, B Daly, D Kearney, J Gibson-Park, J Larmour, C Marsh, R O'Loughlin, F McFadden, L McGrath, I Nacewa, N Reid.

Irish Independent

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