After losing 33-6 to Wasps at home last Sunday, the Leinster squad headed straight into a six-day turnaround ahead of this Saturday’s European Champions Cup showdown with Bath at the Recreation Ground.
And while the focus has shifted to facing last season’s Aviva Premiership runners-up, out-half Jonathan Sexton says that lessons must be learned from last weekend’s stinging round 1 defeat.
“You have to park it in some ways but you have to learn from it as well,” he admitted, speaking at Leinster Rugby HQ this week.
“We felt during the game we were quite comfortable at times. We started really well into a very strong breeze. We were staying at six-all, then at 9-6 we still felt happy enough with that scoreline with the wind at our backs in the second half.
“Then to go in 16-6 down at half-time we felt it was probably against the run of play because they didn’t have much pressure on us.
“Parts of our game weren’t good enough, and then after conceding the second try we had to chase the game and it played into their hands. We made too many errors in that second half especially.”
While errors played their part in a poor performance from Leo Cullen’s men, Sexton acknowledged what was a clinical three-try display from Wasps.
“You’ve also got to give Wasps credit. They’ve got some excellent players, guys that can hurt you and they certainly did hurt us. It seems that every time they got anywhere near our 22 they scored points, and they added up.
“We’ve got to look at the game and see where we can go better. A week is a long time in sport, and you’re always judged on your last game. Hopefully we’re in a different place this time next week. We’re going to a tough place against a very good team.”
The 27-point loss to Wasps has put added significance on the game against Bath, but Sexton knows just how important it is for the team to respond to such a disappointing result.
“We’ve got to move on now. We’ve got a very short turnaround to Bath, and already our championship hangs on this game. We’ve got to show a reaction, we’ve got to be better with the ball. We’ve got to show everything we didn’t show last week,” added the St. Mary’s College clubman.
Meanwhile, just over 1,000 Leinster supporters are set to descend on Bath’s Recreation Ground this weekend for the province’s first visit to the stadium since December 2011.
Leinster eked out a 18-13 win on that visit to the Rec thanks to six penalties from Sexton, with the only try of the game coming from Bath winger Matt Banahan.
Leinster have also announced that 35,000 tickets have now been sold for the Champions Cup match against Toulon at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, December 19. Purchase your tickets.