Belfast Telegraph

Loss to Wasps stung, but Isa Nacewa is still defiant

By Cian Tracey

Watching Leinster's dismal defeat to Wasps from the stand last Sunday was as uncomfortable as this week's video review but Isa Nacewa is adamant that the standards at the province are higher than they were before he left in 2013.

Nacewa missed out last weekend with a knee injury but he is confident that he will be fit enough to return to the side to play Bath in a game that the Leinster captain has described as a "must-win".

The Kiwi didn't agree with Johnny Sexton's assessment that some of the returning players were perhaps suffering from a post-World Cup hangover but Nacewa did acknowledge that the defeat was concerning.

"It was disappointing that we got caught off guard physically at the RDS. Every Leinster team prides itself on dominating at the RDS and we just didn't," he conceded.

"It was frustrating last week. It was out of my control. It is just about us as a group collectively getting into the right mind-frame this week and going forward.

"A few uncharacteristic mistakes from guys across the whole team just impacted on how we got to chase the game and we just couldn't get back in.

"It's probably the manner in which we lost that is most concerning. I genuinely believe they're (the standards on and off the pitch) probably higher than when I left.

"It has just been such a muddled couple of weeks, getting guys back in. We need to find that continuity and find it very quickly.

"We can't keep using excuses of a World Cup hangover and integrating players back in."

Although he wasn't involved in the match-day squad, Nacewa revealed that Leo Cullen had some harsh words for the players in the dressing room afterwards and he called on them to react in this Saturday's Champions Cup fixture.

"Leo had some good, harsh words for the group. We addressed it as a group because that's what we are and rightly so. It was the right message for the time," Nacewa said.

"Leo would have been hurting himself. He got everyone to take a good, hard look at themselves."

Belfast Telegraph


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