Wednesday 17 January 2018

We're Leinster's kryptonite -- Bevington

"if you look at our record against them, we are their kryptonite"
David Kelly

David Kelly

Superman had kryptonite. The wicked witch had water. Achilles had his heel. Most of us have vulnerabilities.

For Leinster, it just happens to be the Ospreys. Sure, Matt O'Connor's men swatted the Swansea side away in round one with an easier-than-it-looked Liberty Stadium steal.

But Leinster supporters have endured enough heartache against the Welsh side in recent times to know that it doesn't take long for their seeming superiority to bite them on the behind at the worst possible moment.

Tomorrow night would be most inappropriate; the always dangerous Ospreys know that, even if their position in qualifying may seem to limit any potential, that they may stoop to conquer.

"Leinster always perform in the Heineken Cup and they strive to play their best, but, if you look at our record against them, we are their kryptonite," says the bullish Welsh loosehead Ryan Bevington.

"Any Heineken Cup game, whatever might be on it, is always going to be a tough game. We are playing for pride and it's the old scenario of the wounded dog fights a bit harder."

Funnily enough, the two sides had no Heineken Cup history before their early season clash -- it was their jousts in the Pro12, featuring two finals in the RDS plundered by the Welsh, which really sparked the rivalry.

And it will be taken up a notch tomorrow night.

Adding to the regular Easterby fraternal competition between Leinster and Scarlets, departing forwards coach Jono Gibbes will face off against his brother Chris.

"Gibbo will have a bit of pride on this as well coming up against his brother, so he will have a lot riding on it," notes Bevington.

With Gethin Jenkins a doubt for his country's Six Nations outing against Ireland next month, Bevington will be closely watched by Warren Gatland tomorrow evening as he tackles prospective international opponents Mike Ross and Martin Moore.

However, after being sent to the bin in their dismal defeat to Northampton last weekend and, considering the impact Moore made in Swansea when introduced for a baptism of fire against Duncan Jones, Bevington may have his work cut out.

"As a professional you have to learn how to develop and improve. Sunday was frustrating with me picking up the yellow card and the way we lost the game.

"Steve Tandy was upset with the smaller bits that we failed to do. We reviewed the game on Tuesday and we all agreed the small percentages were letting us down.

"We are trying a few different things and techniques that will try and change things. It's only the small things that need tweaking.

"We have the size and the power and we are just working on that formula at the moment. We are not that far off trying to solve things."

Leinster supporters will be fore-warned of their ability to locate, even in the most improbable scenarios, a solution.

Irish Independent

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