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RDS Provides Home Comfort For Cheika’s Leinster

RDS Provides Home Comfort For Cheika’s Leinster

Transferring the form which saw them pick up a plethora of wins at Donnybrook last season to their newly refurbished base of the RDS looks like it will come naturally to Leinster, judging by their 23-8 dismissal of Edinburgh on Saturday evening.

Saturday’s three-try success was Leinster’s 21st straight home win in all competitions but some early season errors will have to be ironed if they are to keep up that enviable run.

“We started off quite nicely but then we made a few errors with our handling. We turned the ball over a fair bit in the first half, but we were allowing them to fringe and exploit us a little bit,” Leinster coach Michael Cheika admitted in the aftermath of the game.

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“We didn’t quite click into gear but some of the shape that we want to get is there. I would have been much happier if we had gotten another try.”

In the end, Leinster missed out on a bonus point-winning try and conceded a late one at the other end to Edinburgh’s Andrew Turnbull, something which Cheika was understandably disappointed by.

“We lost our clean sheet at the end which was frustrating, because we’ve added a new defensive coach this year and he is working very hard in that area. We could have managed that a bit better in the end. But that kind of game management will come in time.”

However the Australian still took plenty of positives from the victory, not less the performances of his countryman Chris Whitaker, young out-half Jonathan Sexton and try-scoring wingers Luke Fitzgerald and Gary Brown. He wants more of the same next Friday against Magners League leaders Cardiff.

“We’ve got to keep growing because we’ve a massive game in Cardiff next weekend. But if we can play badly and win – then that’s pretty positive for us.”

Cheika praised the near 10,000-strong crowd that turned up to support Leinster at the RDS, and that ’16th man’ factor could proved to be crucial as the season progress.

“I’ve got to say crowd was fantastic, considering everything that’s going on in the World Cup. The noise (levels) seems to go crazy and we loved playing here (at the RDS) the last time, so there’s a really good feeling about coming here. I know the players loved it,” he added.