Happy with the bonus point but celebrations remain muted
Leinster v Scarlets: Players' reaction“We were happy with the five-pointer but we still felt we created a lot of opportunities and left a couple of chances behind,” says Isaac Boss without great enthusiasm. “In some ways we’re a little disappointed.”
Boss reminds the group that the end of the match with Llanelli is just half-time in a two-week project that incorporates a trip to Exeter. There is around the place a sort of muted joy. A match won before it could even get competitive and still the RDS is in a state of suppressed celebration.
“We have to move on quickly to next week,” Boss adds coolly, eager that there should not be too much hard currency or overly excited headlines attached to the win over luckless Llanelli.
A little frustrated
“We got the win firstly, which enabled us to go for the five points, which was brilliant,” the Leinster scrumhalf added. “We’re a little frustrated but we have to look ahead to next week straight away.
“There are a lot of sore bodies out there. It was a very physical match. They slowed our ruck ball down a lot which probably hindered our attack after a couple of phases.
“The start was pretty good. We had them on the rack there for long periods, but to be fair to them, they defended well. They broke through a couple of times and they were right in the match at times. Credit to them, they defended with heart and managed to keep us out.”
Tries from Rob Kearney and Luke Fitzgerald would have pleased more than a few in the crowd. When Leinster’s marquee players lead the way and shape the match, they function best. When they are injured, there are other players to fill their positions but no one to fill their space, whether it’s Kearney competing for restarts and spinning out of tackles to score or Fitzgerald backing himself in space. For his efforts the winger won man of the match.
“He’s played really well,” says Boss of Fitzgerald. “Like all the guys who’ve come back, he’s been motoring at training and just itching to get the all-clear. He’s finally got it . . . Hopefully it’s a sign of good things to come.
“I know he’s just happy to be back out there and being part of it all. He looked happy out there, which is good. I think he definitely showed Ireland form.
“They’ll be happy to have him in the form he’s in.
“It always takes a couple of games to get back into the groove. He’s got those couple of games now and hopefully now he can push on even more.”
Leinster will talk this week the same way they did last, without a frenzied imperative to scores tries from each attack. Maybe that’s not how they feel inside.
“Jonny [Sexton] . . . put us in positions to attack,” Boss adds. “Yeah, it comes down to tries. And we’re fully aware that it’s going to come down to that.”