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Optimistic: Leinster’s Shane Jennings

Optimistic: Leinster’s Shane Jennings

?INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Optimistic: Leinster’s Shane Jennings

The haunted look on Shane Jennings' face as he trawled through the wreckage of Friday night's mauling from Munster called to mind a line from Anthony Daly's autobiography: "God give me the pain, but don't give the shame".

Leinster are facing into a week of recriminations before a crunch match with Ulster.

The progress made against Connacht was undone by their failure in Limerick and the heat is on Matt O'Connor yet again.

While the St Mary's openside was keen to avoid the words of out-half Jimmy Gopperth, who said Leinster had been "out-passioned" at the Aviva Stadium in October, he accepted that the performance on Boxing Day was well below the standard required if the province are to continue their run of at least a trophy a season since 2011.

Friday marked the half-way point of the Guinness Pro12 and Leinster sit in fifth, three points behind the Ulster side they welcome to the RDS this weekend.

"We are going to have to have a look at ourselves and have a good week in order to play Ulster, because Ulster are a bloody good team and they are going to be tough to play against," said Jennings.

"It is not a game that we can lose because if we fall down again, that is going to be another few points of the top four and it is going to be difficult. "

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Despite his despair at Friday's performance, Jennings remains convinced that the tide will turn.

"Listen, it is a long season, it is probably half-way through and we have got a home game against Ulster next week," he said.

"We're fifth with three points between us and a top four spot. Personally I am very confident that we'll be there or thereabouts.

"It was an opportunity that we missed on Friday night to gain a bit of a foothold in that top four and players understand that more than anybody."

Belfast Telegraph


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