Leinster made a confident start to their Heineken Cup campaign with a deserved 22-9 triumph over two-time champions Leicester Tigers. See below for post-match reaction from the province’s coach Michael Cheika, man of the match Felipe Contepomi and captain Brian O’Driscoll.
MICHAEL CHEIKA –
“We knew it was going to be a very difficult game and we prepared accordingly. The players knew what they wanted to do but it’s one thing saying what they wanted to do and it’s another thing making it happen. We showed composure and you know sometimes in the past we’ve been guilty of going for too much.
“So this time we tried to balance the opportunities to go with the opportunities to play field position. That’s the standard that we want to set ourselves because we’ve got six of these games.
“Sometimes in the away matches you could play that good and it wouldn’t even get you a win in the pool we’re in.
“I feel satisfied that we played to our potential. We were massively supported by our crowd. In games of this nature, every little extra you can get you’ll take. The crowd were very, very vocal and gave us the adrenaline to keep going.
“In the past we might have gone for more things. This time we held a little back and played a bit more field position in the second half. The scrum was okay, our defence was solid and I think the most pleasing thing is the attitude after the match.
“There were a lot of good points today, but we very much understand that we are up against another international front row next week in Toulouse. We’ve got to make sure that our pack keep the consistency because only then can we get through the pool first of all, and then go on further.”
FELIPE CONTEPOMI –
“If we have the ball then we know that we can attack, but I thought today was a superb defensive performance. I think we matched Leicester in the pack and it’s important that we take it step by step because we have a very difficult pool with three good contenders.
“It is clear now that we have good strength in depth and we’re all pleased with the win. I love playing with Leinster – we have really good players and they’re really good people also.”
BRIAN O’DRISCOLL –
“We laid the foundations (in the opening period) for what was a good second half performance. We knew it would have to be as Leicester are very much a power team. They set targets for themselves and get gain lines and that’s where they exploit teams.
“We knew we were going to have to meet them on the gain line and put them back. We managed to do that for the most part.
“I thought they (Leo Cullen and Shane Jennings) played extremely well. We said our performance today was for those two to make sure that on the first occasion of playing against old team-mates they got one over on them.
“We knew they weren’t going to be lacking with their performances and that was very much the case. Everyone fronted up for them – it was a collective team performance.
“It’s nicer playing with Felipe than against him. He was obviously an integral part of the victory, a man of the match performance. Besides kicking his goals, he just controlled things well, and from a back-line point of view he’s such an attacking threat himself you feel there is always room when people are keeping an eye on him.
“Our try started with a great scrum. When you have the foundation, the ball out in front of you and execute plays as well as that, they are very hard to defend against.”