Monday 23 September 2019

Ringrose expecting another Bath tester

Garry Ringrose. Photo: Sportsfile
Garry Ringrose. Photo: Sportsfile

Ryan Corry

Prior to last weekend's clash with Bath in the Rec, Leinster and Ireland centre Garry Ringrose expected the encounter to be a war of attrition - additional contact on top of what is already a physical sport.

He got all of that and more from Saturday's Champions Cup Pool 1 clash and is looking forward to a repeat against the same opposition in Aviva Stadium this weekend.

"I think, as you can see, it was a pretty tough game - incredibly tough. We were not underestimating how tough it is to go and win at the Rec," Ringrose reflected. "They're an incredibly proud team as well as a team with world-class players. It was a game we always knew was going to be close."

"Thankfully, we managed to fall on the right side of it. If one or two things had gone differently, maybe it wouldn't have been the case. We managed to win and it'll kinda be more of the same if not a tougher challenge now next week."

Key for Leinster this week, according to Ringrose is cutting Bath off where they prevailed in the first encounter: pinpoint their influential back-row trio of Tom Ellis, Sam Underhill and Francois Louw as hugely effective.

But, if needed, they can rely on other areas of the field with the likes of Semesa Rokoduguni always a threat. Ringrose expects that there'll be more areas of the Aviva pitch covered on Saturday than there was in the south-west of England last weekend.

"Obviously Underhill and Louw are world-class players and some of the best poachers in the world. That was a part of the game that they got a lot of access through so it'll be more of the same to try and negate that which is pretty tough on any given day.

"They'll be looking at a couple of missed opportunities that they could have taken us out wider. The weather dictated a lot of how the game was played but certainly they were loaded, in good shape and could have attacked us out wider."

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As has been the case for much of the last few years with Leinster, it's always a case of looking forward rather than in the rear view mirror.

Standards While the Toulouse defeat will have disappointed the Leinster camp, it's plain to see from Ringrose that they aren't dwelling on past results and still have their fate in the pool very much in their own hands.

"We kind of set our own standards as a group and are constantly trying to achieve that," he added.

"Ultimately, you don't worry too much about what's out of your control: what points other teams are on or what points we should have been on.

"Just taking it week by week and trying to get the most out of any given day or any game and it's the same this week."

Ringrose will be hoping that a positive result this weekend will put Leinster in control ahead of Toulouse's trip to Dublin in mid-January.

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