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‘Quite A Pleasing Day’ For Cullen And Leinster

‘Quite A Pleasing Day’ For Cullen And Leinster

Leinster moved to within one point of Connacht at the top of the GUINNESS PRO12 table, with a game in hand, after last Sunday’s 27-10 bonus point win over Zebre in Parma.

Luke McGrath opened the scoring with a fine poacher’s try on five minutes, with Dominic Ryan crossing for Leinster’s second after McGrath released Peter Dooley who offloaded to the flanker to give him a clear run under the posts.

This strong start gave Leinster a 12-0 lead after 20 minutes, something which pleased head coach Leo Cullen when reflecting on the game.

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“I thought we started really well,” he told the province’s website afterwards. “The first 20 minutes I thought we managed the game well, played in the right areas. (They were) very difficult conditions, clearly.

“It’s been raining here non-stop for the last three days. Getting the try early settles us down, another try in the first 20 minutes. We probably lost our way a little bit after that coming into half-time.

“We settled back down again in the second half. It was just difficult to play. We’re happy to have ground out a win and get the bonus point right at the very end as well, so quite a pleasing day.”

The four-try victory in Italy made it two wins in three weeks over the Italian club, something which again pleased Cullen as Zebre had been putting up some very impressive performances in recent weeks, notably narrow defeats to Munster and Gloucester and wins over Benetton Treviso, Worcester Warriors and La Rochelle.

“The former Leinster and Ireland lock added: “We’ve seen Zebre’s results here in recent months. All through the course of the season they’ve had some really good results. They’re a very well-coached team. They made life very difficult for us.

“They came hard off the line and competed very hard at the breakdown which means it’s quite difficult to move the ball in those conditions. The pitch is very, very boggy. There’s things we can definitely be better at, but overall we’re pleased to get the result.”

Leinster return to the RDS to face the Ospreys this coming Saturday (kick-off 3pm). Be there to support the province in the GUINNESS PRO12 run-in and get your tickets from €;20.