Leinster stars praise Ian Madigan’s coolness in heat of battle

Devin Toner believes confidence will grow after victory in Castres

Leinster’s Zane Kirchner challenges for the ball with Castres’ Geoffrey Palis during the European Rugby Champions Cup match at  Stade Pierre Antoine. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Leinster’s Zane Kirchner challenges for the ball with Castres’ Geoffrey Palis during the European Rugby Champions Cup match at Stade Pierre Antoine. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

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Leinster lock Devin Toner heaped praise on team-mate Ian Madigan after the centre kicked his side to victory over Top 14 opponents Castres in the European Rugby Champions Cup.

The Ireland international booted all of his team’s points in a 21-16 victory as they came from behind at Stade Pierre Antoine to maintain their perfect start to the European rugby season.

“Having the confidence in your team-mates and your squad is really important,” said Toner. “We know that when we get into their half and win a penalty, we have confidence in him to slot it over.

“When you get into your opponents’ half, you’re looking to break the gain line or win a penalty – and that’s what happened today.”

Second Captains

His sentiment was echoed by scrumhalf Isaac Boss, who added: “Mads did very well. We probably gave them a few too many kickable penalties, but they probably won’t be happy they gave us a few too many kickable penalties.

“When it’s on a knife-edge, three points makes all the difference. He’s playing very well and took his chances well.”

Castres raced into a 7-0 lead after six minutes but Madigan ensured Leinster went into the dressing room at half-time 9-7 up.

The home side then went back ahead as they opened up a 16-9 lead midway through the second half but Madigan nailed four further penalties to seal victory and Toner was delighted with the resilience in the team.

“It was hard around the breakdown,” he said. “Castres are obviously a massive squad. They love trucking it up, but I think we did well to suffocate them and build pressure and get over the gain line.

“We’re really confident with the squad we have. Obviously, we’ve had a lot of injuries early in the season but I don’t want to use that as an excuse.

“We have a talented squad, and talented young lads coming through who are all taking their chances.”

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