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Brive will be tricky: Jackman

When Leinster travelled to Brive in October, they expected and received a raucous reception, yet once the shrill opening whistle at the Stade Amedee-Domenech sounded, the home side collapsed like a poorly prepared souffle.

A confused Leinster contemplated whether the facile 36-13 win represented a lost opportunity to snaffle a bonus point.

Subsequent events — Brive have a grand total of ‘nul points' in this campaign — heightened that anxiety.

Yet somehow there is concern that this week's return clash may be even trickier.

That is because Brive have overhauled their coaching staff and, it seems, their performances since October.

Since then, Brive have pushed to within a fingertip of the play-offs and have dismissed French champions Perpignan and Toulouse en route.

“We have been studying them closely for the last number of weeks,” admits Bernard Jackman.

“The scouting we would have made on them for the away game was different — then they were very up and down and there was no very clear pattern to them but looking at them the last few games has been different.

“Even when they went to Clermont and got well beaten they turned up physically and went with a gameplan that set a stall defensively; OK at the end they came unstuck and got a thumping but for the first 25 minutes they showed up,” Jackman added.

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