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Schmidt plays down talk of defence

Head coach Joe Schmidt insisted his Leinster side have a long way to go in the defence of their Heineken Cup title after qualifying for the knockout stages with a 23-16 win over Glasgow Warriors at Firhill.

The Dublin side are seeking to become just the second team after Leicester in 2001 and 2002 to successfully defend the European title and reached the quarter-finals on Sunday by clinching victory in Pool Three with one match to spare.

Schmidt said: "We were just one of 24 contenders. After next weekend there will be eight contenders. We're delighted to be one of those eight. As far as defending, it's not just defending the Heineken Cup. You've got to roll up your sleeves and go out and win it again."

Schmidt added: "I'm delighted to get the result today. I know there were imperfections in the performance and I know my players have gone on record saying I'm always fussy.

"I don't really care about the imperfections today. I just think you deserve to be proud of what you did. You deserved to get the four points and we'll come away from this, glue ourselves back together in six days' time and front up at the RDS in front of a full stadium and try to chase that home quarter-final that we really, really want."

The Warriors play Bath at The Rec next weekend knowing victory is a must if they are to keep their European ambitions alive this season in the second tier Amlin Challenge Cup.

Glasgow head coach Sean Lineen said: "Leinster are not the Heineken Cup champions for nothing.

"I thought we stood toe-to-toe with them for long periods of the game.

"One bit of class from (Rob) Kearney, try. We had two guys there, but he got the ball. That's just class."

On next week's clash at The Rec, Lineen added: "We've got to make sure we go down there with the right mindset because Bath are a very good team. It's out of our control now. There are a couple of things that have to happen in a couple of the other groups for us to be involved in the Amlin."


From Belfast Telegraph