Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Schmidt demands more

Leinster may have delighted the home crowd with a superb six-try defeat of Saracens at the RDS, but head coach Joe Schmidt clearly wants more from his players.

The 43-20 victory, which included tries from Sean O'Brien, Dominic Ryan (2), Fergus McFadden, Isa Nacewa and Eoin O'Malley, has catapulted Schmidt's men into the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup.

"I thought we got off to a fantastic start," Schmidt said after his side cantered to an early 12-0 advantage. "The first two tries we scored were superb. Conditions were very tough out there and to get the 12 points up was fantastic but then to allow them back into the game so easily into the gale, was very, very frustrating."

"A crucial thing for us was to score just before half-time (through Dominic Ryan). There was some really good concentration and co-ordination that went into that and that allowed us to go into half-time with the buffer we needed to give us the confidence to take another step.''

James Short and Kelly Brown touched down for Saracens in the opening half, but by the time Nils Mordt added a third in the 83rd minute, Leinster were out of sight.

Schmidt added: "I'm delighted to get the result we did and delighted with some of the play that we managed to construct and finish to get the six tries. At the same time, we know it wasn't a perfect performance and Saracens probably lost a little bit of interest toward the middle part of the second half.

"I wouldn't say they offered up soft tries but some of the tries came relatively, relatively easily. I guess the reality is next week is a whole different ball game again. It's a six day turnaround and there are a number of things we still need to work on."

Saracens, who were all but eliminated before kick-off, now set their sights on the Aviva Premiership, although they leave Dublin with a string of injury worries.

The most high-profile of those was Gavin Henson as the centre's hopes of making Wales' Six Nations squad were dealt a blow when he limped off with a calf injury after coming on as a replacement. Former England captain Steve Borthwick, Michael Tagicakibau, Hugh Vyvyan and David Strettle also picked up knocks.

Director of rugby Mark McCall said: "We've got a bit of a casualty list at the moment and things didn't get easier. We picked up quite a few injuries and that's not really what we needed and we may be struggling in the backline next weekend."

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph