De La Salle Palmerston will go into their AIB League Division 2 semi-final against Lansdowne as underdogs, but captain Philip de Barra is hoping ‘Salmo can get their tactics right and cause a big upset in Saturday’s Dublin derby at the RDS (kick-off 2.30pm)..
Despite losing 31-9 to Corinthians in their final league game last weekend, De La Salle Palmerston were delighted to have just about claimed fourth spot ahead of Bective Rangers, Old Wesley and Corinthians.
It was only three weeks ago when Lansdowne and DLSP last met and in that game Lansdowne were slightly fortunate to have pipped the Kilternan men 20-17 in the end, scoring a try in the dying minues of the match.
This time, with the stakes higher, it could be a very different game yet both sides will desperately want to make it to the final and give themselves a chance of ending the season with some silverware.
DLSP out-half and captain Philip de Barra is hoping that his side can be more clinical in attack this time around.
“From the last game, I think now there should be a bit more initiative in attack. It’s about attacking where they’re not strong,” he told IrishRugby.ie.
“Lansdowne obviously have a good defence, so it’s about trying to identify the spots on the pitch where we don’t think they’re covering.
“Lansdowne are a team that has scored really heavily a number of times against weaker teams. I think, to be fair, they haven’t scored that heavily against the upper-tier teams.
“But if you let a team like that with a good back-line a bit loose, you are asking for trouble. You’ve got to play a game that will suit a win really.”
Despite losing their last three games, de Barra feels that going in to this match as underdogs will play to ‘Salmo’s advantage.
“I think it’s easier to be underdogs after a bad run. It’s a much easier position to play in, especially in a cup game,” he admitted.
“It was kind of a strange end to the season. I think with the Lansdowne game, conceding that last try to lose the game affected us.
“And mentally we were kind of broken for that Corinthians game last week. It was fortunate then to hold onto fourth spot, so now we can build ourselves back up once more.”
Lansdowne, having won fourteen out of fifteen games in the league, will have plenty of positive momentum going into this weekend’s match. Number 8 Ron Boucher expressed confidence ahead of Saturday’s RDS tie.
“We’re very confident we can bring our good form all season into the game, especially considering the success of our Under-20 and J1 sides recently,” explained Boucher.
“We’re very determined to beat DLSP and hopefully go on to win the trophy. We found out a few weeks ago that they were a tough side to play against but Willie (Clancy) and the coaches have us focusing on ourselves this week.
“It’s our last ever game at the RDS and we’re looking forward to going out and performing.”
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