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Gaffney: Hard Work Paying Off

Gaffney: Hard Work Paying Off

Leinster consultant coach Alan Gaffney says the province’s hard work on the training pitch is beginning to come to fruition on a matchday.

Heineken Cup holders Leinster were in superb form as they crushed the Scarlets 32-7 in Llanelli on Saturday.

And the province’s consultant coach Alan Gaffney is hoping for more of the same after seeing a number of training ground scenarios come to life in the four-try thumping at Parc y Scarlets.

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“There is confidence that a lot of the work that’s being done during training is coming through into games,” said Gaffney, who led Saracens to the Heineken Cup semi-finals two seasons ago.

“I thought there was a lot of skill in (Gordon) D’Arcy’s try. The boys have been working very hard in training along those lines, working in close quarters with three on two situations, and to see the result of that try after the work that they have been doing on the training paddock was very satisfying.

“The build-up work for Shane Horgan’s try was good, but the finish was fantastic, and the second and third tries were very good.

“The boys want to perform. We were very disappointed after the London Irish game, not only with the result, but with our performance. We’ll go out on Saturday with a positive frame of mind, wanting to play good rugby.”

Like head coach Michael Cheika, Gaffney was quick to warn against complacency ahead of this weekend’s rematch at the RDS, however.

Gaffney has made it clear to the Leinster players that their work is far from over and that the Scarlets will no doubt pose a far stiffer challenge this time around.

The two sides now both have a record of played three, won two, lost one in Pool 6 and, with London Irish boasting a similar return, a quarter-final berth is still wide open.

“We’re expecting a different proposition this weekend,” added the wily Australian.

“We played some pretty good rugby for 40 minutes and in the last 20, but in the other period we were just too sloppy.

“We let ourselves down actually, and we’ve got to improve those areas. As Michael has alluded to already, the players were pretty disappointed in the dressing room afterwards.

“The Scarlets have a couple of long term injuries, but team wise I wouldn’t expect too many changes from last weekend.

“The scoreline was pretty close in the second half and we know that it will be competitive this weekend. They have beaten London Irish away, and not many sides do that, so we’re going into this game knowing that we’re in for a battle.

“They won’t lay down because they have some very good and experienced players and I’ve no doubt that the likes of Simon Easterby and David Lyons will be trying to work the oracle this week.

“They have already got a good result away, so they know that they’re capable of doing it.

“Though they have been in the wilderness in Europe for a number of years, to be leading the pool after the opening two rounds and having given themselves a chance of qualifying, they’ll be giving it everything.”