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Murphy Urges Leinster To ‘Hit The Ground Running’ Against Bath

Murphy Urges Leinster To ‘Hit The Ground Running’ Against Bath

Last Friday’s GUINNESS PRO12 draw with Glasgow Warriors was Jordi Murphy’s first Leinster appearance in over two months. His last outing for the province was against Wasps in the European Champions Cup, the match finishing in a draw which was enough to clinch a home quarter-final.

In the interim, Jordi Murphy featured in all five of Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations games, playing the full 80 minutes against Italy and England. Despite the long gap between Leinster appearances, he said it did not take him too long to settle back into the environment.

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“You’re here for seven or eight months of the year, so it’s not too tough,” Murphy said as the Blues prepare for Saturday’s crunch Champions Cup quarter-final against Bath at the Aviva Stadium.

“Obviously I had to come in early and remind myself of a few of the moves, because they’re completely different in the Irish camp. You focus your complete energy on that at the time and then when you come back in, you have to slot in quickly.”

On his return for Leinster, Murphy scored the province’s third try in the thrilling comeback against Glasgow Warriors at the RDS. No problem slotting back in then.

Despite the hosts’ memorable fight-back, Glasgow scored a converted try in the final few minutes to level the game. While the first half performance and half-time margin of 20 points was a clear source of disappointment, the way the players rallied in the second half is something Murphy sees as a positive they can take forward into the Bath match.

“I thought we let ourselves down, definitely. We knew that Glasgow would come out all guns blazing – they had a lot of their Scottish contingent back. To let them go in 20 points out at half-time was obviously disappointing, but then I thought we rallied really well.

Isaac (Boss) really set the tone scoring that try within 45-50 seconds. That’s definitely a big positive for us that we were able to come back and even build on it and get seven points ahead of them.

“Obviously it was disappointing to concede with five minutes or so to go, but I thought it was definitely pleasing to come back from that kind of deficit at half-time.”

The build-up to this Saturday’s European game has focused on the threats in the Bath back-line, with George Ford, Jonathan Joseph and Kyle Eastmond among the attacking talents at the English club.

Murphy said, though, it would be a mistake to overlook a very strong Bath pack, adding: “They’ve got a seriously formidable scrum. I think they’ve shown that, not just in the Champions Cup but in the (Aviva) Premiership. They’ve put a lot of teams under the sword with it.

“They have the likes of (Dave) Attwood, who played most of the Six Nations games, (Stuart) Hooper, their leader in the pack and their captain, and the likes of Francois Louw with 30-odd South African caps. I don’t think we can bypass the pack at all.

“I think that would be a big mistake from our point of view. They’ve got a lot of firepower out the backs, but they’ve got some seriously hard grafters in the pack as well. We’ll have to look at their whole fifteen.”

After last weekend’s draw with Glasgow, Leinster have welcomed more international players back into fold, and Murphy said it will be great to see Sean O’Brien back in blue after a lengthy injury lay-off that has kept him out of action for the province since the first game of the season away to Glasgow on September 6.

“(Sean) played unbelievably well (against Scotland). The two tries and, not just that, his all-round game has really shown how quickly he’s come back considering he’s only got three-and-a-half games under his belt. It’s a big boost to the whole squad. There’s a good buzz. I know going into this week to get the likes of him and Jamie (Heaslip) and other boys back will be an added bonus to us, definitely.

“It’s knockout rugby now and it’s on the biggest stage of all for club rugby. We’re going to have to hit the ground running. We know that Bath will, so we’re going to have to meet them and try and beat them.”

Tickets for the Leinster v Bath match are still available from Ticketmaster, starting from €;28 for adult and €;10 for children. Click here to get your ticket(s) now.