Raging calf Moore still has learning to do
Leinster’s superior work-rate told against Castres, but can’t disguise the fall off in their attacking game
As the game ticked by, with Castres simply not going away, Leinster changed the emphasis towards their running game which, on foot of the opposition, the scoreboard and their subsequent execution, was a mistake.
Leinster did not attack the space as they have in the past. This may be due to an emphasis on defence but their backline play was at times very lateral, drifting towards the touchline, making the defence easy.
Growing frustrated, Gopperth carried too much “crap” ball into traffic and lost tactical awareness. Ian Madigan also carries but attacks the line when others have created the chances.
With O’Brien in the form of his life, opportunity was plentiful, especially in multi-phase plays, with Castres fatties loitering in midfield.
Here’s where Gopperth and co appeared naive; instead of attacking their fatiguing weak shoulders in midfield, Leinster shipped the ball wide into the tram tracks, where the touchline caught them out too easily.
Madigan is another man going a slightly different direction these past few weeks but on careful reflection, the Leinster backline look more dangerous with him at 10 and when adding Eoin Reddan to the mix the outside backs look more potent.
Madigan gets his outside backs into better running positions, angles and space. Brendan Macken, at 13, did get outside once or twice, showing good power, but Leinster didn’t create the running line space in this channel for him to really power and flex his muscle.
Two Castres sinbinnings aided the home side, who have now won two from two; an excellent start but I’ll very much enjoy Leinster’s attack coming back.
Secondrow injury reduces options for Ireland but Devin Toner is the most technically improved of the lot. His progressing technique allied to his phenomenal work-rate mean he is now a very worthy option.
Team sport is not the place to walk alone, away from the crowd, where Cian Healy and Moore exhausted themselves in an effort to keep their team going the right direction.
In the end, Moore must have chuckled, as LaMotta did, after been beaten half to death by Sugar Ray Robinson, “Hey, Ray, I never went down, man! You never got me down, Ray! You hear me, you never got me down.”