Belfast Telegraph

Leinster can go on and finish the job, insists bullish Cullen

Leinster 16-15 Munster

By Ruaidhri O'Connor

When the dust settles on this remarkable season, Leinster will reserve a special place in the memory for this Guinness PRO14 semi-final win.

They have had bigger, prettier, more impressive victories, but they must have come away from the RDS feeling invincible after Munster threw the kitchen sink at them and still came up short.

Their depth was tested, but they performed brilliantly. As well as losing Rob Kearney, Johnny Sexton, Dan Leavy and Robbie Henshaw, Isa Nacewa went off at half-time - and yet the serial winners refused to succumb.

Most of them have a Grand Slam and a European medal in the bag and it would be easy for them to be satisfied with that, but this group of players have a fearsome determination and simply refuse to give in.

"It is a very ambitious group," Leo Cullen said of his squad's motivation. "The realisation that a lot of guys worked to get us into this position and didn't get the chance to play in this game; some players finishing up, and wanting to give them a good send off - Isa in particular, and Jordi (Murphy). You saw the reactions the players had, in terms of him and lifting the trophy (in Bilbao).

"It means a huge amount to the group because this group is never going to be the same again. They want to finish the season well.

"It's been an amazing year. It's come off the back of a lot of disappointment over the last couple of seasons.

"We've got ourselves back in the position again. That's the thing. It's finish the job now.

"Everyone wants to work hard for another week to give people the ideal send-off."

Leinster will hope Nacewa can make it back for next week's final against an impressive Scarlets side, but they also have Sexton, Leavy and Kearney to return to the fold.

Belfast Telegraph

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