| 14.4°C Dublin

There's more to come from 'A' team - Girvan Dempsey

Close

Leinster A's William Dardis tackles Rotherham Titans' Tom Barrett during their British & Irish Cup quarter-final at Clifton Lane, Rotherham

Leinster A's William Dardis tackles Rotherham Titans' Tom Barrett during their British & Irish Cup quarter-final at Clifton Lane, Rotherham

Leinster A's William Dardis tackles Rotherham Titans' Tom Barrett during their British & Irish Cup quarter-final at Clifton Lane, Rotherham

Leinster 'A' head coach Girvan Dempsey insists that there is still plenty to come from his side after they booked their place in the last four of the British & Irish Cup.

Despite scoring 51 points in last weekend's quarter-final win over Rotherham Titans, Dempsey believes that there is still room for improvement.

Leinster are chasing their third successive title and Dempsey knows that if they are to succeed in doing so, they must use the next month to fine-tune their game.

"We've had a look back at the video again and we're probably even more critical of ourselves than we were immediately after the game," he admitted.

"The players themselves have commented on the fact that we've only had one collective 80-minute performance and that was early on in the pool stages against Carmarthen Quins.

"And even that came on the back of our first defeat in quite a while, so they were eager to put that right. That's the sort of attitude the players have. It was a testament to their willingness to improve as individuals and as a team.

"We made a lot of errors that we know we'll have to improve on ahead of the semi-final. The three potential teams we could play are all very tough, and having our discipline as poor as last weekend could cost us.

"We were delighted with the way we capitalised on the opportunities presented to us and took our chances but we got two yellow cards and we can't really afford to do that at this stage of the competition."

Leinster are joined in the semi-final draw by Bristol, Worcester Warriors and Doncaster Knights and despite the fact that they will be expected to retain their title, Dempsey is urging caution over what he knows will be a "tough draw".

"There's always a bit of nervousness. There's three very competent English Championship sides left with us," Dempsey said.

"Two of them are up at the top of the table pushing for promotion (Bristol and Worcester) and Doncaster, who beat Munster in the quarter-final, are a very dangerous outfit.

"We'll continue to prep but because the amount of work the players put in as a unit is excellent, it means when we do get on the field we maximise our chances effectively.

"We've grown in confidence over the last few seasons and have enjoyed the competition and thankfully that has continued this year."

With up to 14 senior players away on international duty with Ireland, Dempsey's side, who are made up of academy and 'A' players, will fill the void as they look to force themselves into Pro12 reckoning.

"Unfortunately we won't get any extra time with the guys in this period. With the internationals away and with the U-20s gone too, we're down numbers so senior management will need academy and 'A' players to slot in," he explained.

"That's always been the case but hopefully they'll get more exposure in the Pro12. We hope to have a full week together in the build-up to the semi-final."

Despite the fact that Dempsey won't have a lot of time to prepare his squad, he knows how valuable the experience they will get in the coming weeks is.

"The intensity in the senior squad's training is always challenging for academy and 'A' players but they come back into our environment with a new buzz and confidence," he said.

"We trained against the senior boys last weekend and ran against them as Wasps. Matt (O'Connor) always helps and is excellent in that way."

Irish Independent