Tuesday 17 July 2018

Leavy wants to keep foot on throttle after putting his hand up

Dan Leavy. Photo: Sportsfile
Dan Leavy. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

This time of year will always test the strength and depth of a squad, adding in an extra interpro will do so even more, but when you have an embarrassment of riches such as Leinster's, that task is made somewhat easier.

Players are playing for places in a squad that is arguably the most competitive in Europe right now, and crucially the standards are not dropping when the coaching staff ring the changes.

After making a blistering start against Munster in which they blew the home side away, Leinster had to dig deep to see off a second-half comeback.

It's all part of the evolution of this group of young players who look poised to end the club's four-year wait for a trophy.

"At the start of the second half they clawed their way back into the game and showed good resilience to fight back," Dan Leavy, one of the young guns who is leading the charge, said.

"Jordan (Larmour) did really well to make that break and score. When you have the whole of Thomond Park screaming against you and they were rumbling like that I thought we did very well to get stuck in."

Leavy's turnover a minute before Larmour's stunning try epitomised Leinster's relentless desire to win and the man of the match at Thomond Park, admitted that he momentarily lost the run of himself in celebrating the penalty.

"Yeah, I got pretty excited after that one. So much so I had Nigel (Owens) laughing at me and I had to apologise.

"When the lads dig in like that and defend for 20-plus phases and then come away with a positive result, it just shows the strength of the brothers and just how hard the team works for each other. It was brilliant."

Leo Cullen will rotate his squad again for the New Year's Day visit of Connacht but such is the scrap for places, players like Leavy must feel as if they almost can't afford to sit out a game.

"It is very competitive at Leinster, so you take your opportunities when you get them," the flanker maintained.

"I think I put my hand up well. We have a quick turnaround but there are a few more opportunities to play before Europe again. It's important to keep the foot on the throttle.

"It shows the depth we have. Lads can be pretty disappointed during the year not getting a run over the Christmas period, but with three games in 11 days you can't play the same team.

"It gives everyone an opportunity to put their hand up and say: 'I want to be in the starting team'.

"It's great everyone is raring to play. A great win like that with maybe missing some of the players that have been starting a lot of the European games is fantastic.

"We are looking to build on it and keep the momentum going."

Irish Independent

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