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Molony: Our focus is on a big performance

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Ross Molony. Photo: Sportsfile

Ross Molony. Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Ross Molony. Photo: Sportsfile

It feels like a lifetime ago since Leinster Rugby last played as attention has now turned to the Ireland team and their Six Nations campaign.

It is in fact just over three weeks since they played Benetton Rugby in that final game of the Champions Cup pool phase, an 18-0 win in Treviso which sealed their place at the top of the seedings for the quarter-finals.

Usually top seeding is reward for the team with the most outstanding performance in the pool but this year, it came with the booby prize of a wounded animal and reigning champions Saracens finishing as eighth seeds.

However, with that put at the back of minds until early April, attention is once more on the PRO14, a competition in which Leinster could potentially, tomorrow, equal the best winning start to a championship season, Ulster's 11 wins in 2012/'13.

Visiting the RDS Arena are South African side Cheetahs who, under the tutelage of Hawies Fourie as Franco Smith guides Italy through their Six Nations campaign, have had an impressive start to the campaign.

While the European contingent of the PRO14 were on a break of late, they had back-to-back derby games against fellow southern hemisphere side Southern Kings, notching two bonus-point victories.

Will that be an advantage for Cheetahs? According to Leinster second-row Ross Molony, momentum is with the tourists but excitement abounds in Leinster Rugby HQ in UCD.

"They kept playing while we were on our break there. They played the Kings twice, two games in a row and won both of them," says the former St Michael's College man.

"They're going to have a bit of momentum coming over here. We're back in the RDS, we're really excited about that. We love playing there.

"We can only focus on each week and this week it's all about the Cheetahs.

"There's going to be lads coming back from Irish camp and there's going to be some lads getting opportunities who haven't maybe played earlier in the season.

Involvement

"It's really just about focusing on us and about us coming together this week and putting in a performance."

For Molony and others who have no international involvement in these early weeks of 2020, the motivation hasn't wavered.

While they were able to take a short break, concentration remains as they look to win again and, in Molony's words, just "keep things going".

"So we had about two weeks off just gone. We came in last week for a training week, which went really well and the group is in a really good place.

"These are really good blocks for us. There's a three-game block now coming up that we're really going to go after. The Six Nations is obviously on at the moment but things have to keep going for us here in Leinster," he adds.

"We're looking forward to starting it off with the Cheetahs tomorrow."

Irish Independent