Leinster locked in on Edinburgh

Tue, 01 Jan 2013 12:14
Large joe schmidt p Large briano driscollleinster Large roddygrantedinburgh2

Leinster coach Joe Schmidt says they will not fall into the trap of overlooking struggling Edinburgh ahead of the teams’ Pro12 clash this weekend.

Leinster coach Joe Schmidt says they will not fall into the trap of overlooking struggling Edinburgh ahead of the teams’ Pro12 clash this weekend.

Schmidt’s charges left him pleased with his side's efforts as they ended a three-match winless stretch with a 17-0 shutout of Connacht at the RDS on Saturday as they head into a big month for the province both in the Pro12 and European Cup competitions.

"I was pleased with the effort from what was a relatively young and inexperienced group of players. We defended well playing into the strong breeze in the first half as Connacht put a lot of pressure on us,” he said.  

“It was a great confidence boost to get seven points just before the interval and we put together some positive phases in the last quarter of the game to build a bit of a buffer on the scoreboard.

"Despite the cold wind, the crowd helped spur the players on as always and it was great to be back at the RDS with the really positive support we receive there.

"With other teams in the top half winning this weekend we didn't lose any ground at least, so we're still just outside the play-off qualification spots. It means we've still got plenty of work to do but at least we're close enough to be in the scramble for the semifinals.”

Edinburgh are coming off back-to-back defeats to Glasgow which saw the Warriors lift the 1872 Cup but Schmidt expects nothing less than a gruelling, close content.   

"We know from experience how difficult it is to win over in Edinburgh. A lot of our players have played under Michael [Bradley] at different levels for Connacht, the Wolfhounds or with the Ireland senior squad when he took interim charge a few years back - and all speak highly of him.

"Edinburgh will be keen to get back to winning ways after their narrow defeats to Glasgow over the Christmas period and they showed real character to come back and almost snatch the win last weekend after Glasgow got away to a flying start.

"Games between ourselves and Edinburgh are always tight affairs. We narrowly beat them earlier in the campaign in the RDS (22-16) and it was nip-and-tuck last season over in Murrayfield when we managed to come out on the right side of a contest that see-sawed right up until the finish (28-36).

"They have a big abrasive set of forwards and proven international performers throughout. With a player like Tim Visser in their ranks, who is racing clear at the top of the try-scoring charts again this year, we can't afford any defensive lapses.

“Greig Laidlaw controls the game for them at either scrumhalf or flyhalf and they have a number of very effective ball carriers led by the likes of Dave Denton and Netani Talei.

"With a short six-day turnaround, the focus in the early part of this week is about nursing knocks and reintegrating players back into the group as a number of players haven't had much game time in recent weeks.

"It can be easy to allow your mind to drift because January is shaping up to be a big month for us in the context of the season across both competitions, but we're very much focused on Edinburgh and what is sure to be another stiff test this weekend."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 23 February 2018
Highlanders v Blues 06h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Reds 08h45 Melbourne
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 19h00 Irish Independent Park
Dragons v Edinburgh 19h30 Rodney Parade
Leinster v Kings 19h35 RDS
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
France v Italy 20h00 Paris
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Chiefs 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Bath v Sale Sharks 12h30 Recreation Ground
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
PRO14
MORE LOGS
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 15 13 0 2 65
Munster 15 9 0 6 49
Cheetahs 15 8 0 7 41
Cardiff Blues 15 7 0 8 33
Connacht 15 5 0 10 28
Ospreys 15 5 0 10 26
Zebre 15 4 0 11 21
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 15 12 0 3 57
Scarlets 15 11 0 4 54
Edinburgh 15 10 0 5 46
Ulster 15 9 1 5 46
Treviso 15 8 0 7 38
Dragons 15 2 2 11 17
Kings 15 0 0 15 4