Angry Shane Jennings left raging at referee and his own Leinster side
I’d say it was pretty grim to watch because it wasn’t enjoyable to play’
Leinster’s Shane Jennings with Craig Ronaldson and Tiernan O’Halloran of Connacht. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
So, Shane Jennings. Rare do we see him in a good mood but there is never any bull. Hence his role as one of Leinster’s senior figures since returning from Leicester in 2007.
First question was about the hand. Surgery four weeks ago but he’s fine. A scrap on the ground with Connacht’s nuggety young openside Jake Heenan proved that. There was a lull in proceedings before question two landed.
“As expected, there is not much questions because it was a bag of shit of a game,” he said of the 16-13 victory. “There is not much to talk about.
“It was great to get the win. I don’t think both teams would be happy with the performance. It wasn’t an enjoyable to play in but we grinded it out and got the win.
“We dug in. The lads who came on off the bench made an impact, whether it was in the frontrow or Rhys (Ruddock) coming on or Maccer (Mike McCarthy) coming on. We wanted a win and thankfully we got it.”
Next, an obvious question just to keep the interview alive. What could you have done better?
“We could have done a lot of things better. We could have adapted to the ref better. Could have sorted out the breakdown a bit better. We could have had more composure on the ball. We could of had got a lot more composure in our lineout. There were a lot of things we could have done better. I think we are going to have a long list on Monday for things we need to improve on. So it was pretty grim.”
Referee David Wilkinson was certainly a notable figure, blowing his whistle more than a veteran raver in a warehouse. Does adapting to the referee mean not rucking or counter rucking? Jennings only deals in practical matters
“I dunno. He was hot on side entry so we should gone better and come in the gate the way he wanted it. At times it was a mess. He let it go. We got to adapt to that when he is letting it go and put numbers in there. When he is calling side entry you got to be cleaner than that. That’s the way he wants to do it that’s the way you got to play it.
“Hopefully that’s a good kick up the backside for us. We need to have a good look at ourselves. All week we knew what to expect. Our prep was good. The feeling was good all week and then today we just didn’t click the switch.
“You just can’t do that. It show if you don’t come to play, if you are not ready to put into action what you say all week it is going to be a shit fight – excuse my language, I keep cursing but it is going to be a mess. Players have to take responsibility, the 23 guys involved.
“I’d say it was pretty grim to watch because it wasn’t enjoyable to play.”
He disagreed that Connacht overpowered them. “Knock ons, loose ball against Connacht, that’s what they live off.”
And he rejected the easy excuse about a change in personnel. “As negatively as I’m speaking here, grim and dour, we still won. And we are going to take that positive. We’ve won three games on the bounce now. Some personnel changes, yeah . . . and we’ve got to give ourselves s kick up the backside and look at ourselves.”
Sensing a rare chance at levity, Jennings was asked if he’s always this pissed off after a game. “I’m always this angry after a game if the truth be told. Probably not this angry for a while!”
Ever this angry after a win?
“At times yeah. I’d say you’ll have good craic writing about that game.”
We did after this.