Saturday 21 April 2018

'It was done to us over Christmas' - Dan Leavy reveals how the move that caught out Saracens was borrowed from a rival

1 April 2018; Dan Leavy of Leinster celebrates at the final whistle of the European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final match between Leinster and Saracens at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
1 April 2018; Dan Leavy of Leinster celebrates at the final whistle of the European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final match between Leinster and Saracens at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Dan Leavy gave one of the performances of the season against Saracens in the Champions Cup quarter-final last weekend, capping off his Man of the Match display with an extremely well-worked try.

Leavy exchanged passes with team-mate James Ryan beside the breakdown, with the second row's offload being taken all the way under the posts by the rampaging openside flanker.

Speaking on The Left Wing podcast with Luke Fitzgerald and Will Slattery this week, Leavy revealed that the inter-play that unlocked the Saracens defence was far from an off-the-cuff exchange, and was actually sparked by a previous Champions Cup game earlier this season.

"It's a little play we have, it was actually done to us by Exeter over Christmas," Leavy said.

"A tiny little one-two on the inside of a maul. It is simple but pretty effective if you can take the ball forward like James did and commit that defender from the ruck. It was something that we saw and tried to learn it. We have used it a few times. Ferg [Fergus McFadden] actually did it over in France in the first game of the Six Nations, that worked really well.

"It is just a little thing that we try to incorporate into the game, usually you don't expect a line break off it, maybe just one or two metres."

The 23-year-old has enjoyed a breakout season for Leinster and Ireland, winning a Six Nations Grand Slam while also forcing his way into Leo Cullen's starting side following a series of Man of the Match performances during the Christmas inter-provincials.

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