Leo Cullen wants to tighten things up despite Leinster rout
‘We had a tough game against Montpellier last year and it’s still fresh in the memory’
Leinster’s Cian Healy in action against Glasgow in the Champion Cup game at the RDS. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen pointed to some areas that they will need to tidy up for their final pool game in Montpellier, but still cut a satisfied figure with his side after their 55-19 trouncing of Glasgow at the RDS guaranteed a home quarter-final in the Champions Cup.
“I thought the guys, their willingness and want to keep the ball alive was really good,” he said. “Maybe [we] got a little bit loose at times in the second half, but overall we’re delighted to get the win and bonus point against a very good team.
“There was definitely a lot of areas in the second half that we will look at this week and we’ll need to be better. If you produce moments like we did in the second half we’ll get punished.
“We had a tough game against Montpellier last year and it’s still fresh in the memory. For us it’s just about recovering well over the course of the six days and trying to put in a big performance again.”
Despite picking up the man-of-the-match award, Leinster scrumhalf Luke McGrath redirected the praise to the industrious home pack.
“The forwards were brilliant, they laid the platform for us in scrum and maul. As backs, we’re delighted with that set piece dominance,” he said.
“We got caught out in the breakdown in the semi-finals last season against Clermont and Scarlets and so we have been working on that. All the forwards are happy with the ball in hand and it makes our play more exuberant rugby.”
Glasgow head coach Dave Rennie marvelled at Leinster’s dominance of Pool 3 after watching his Warriors side wiped away in Dublin.
“I thought Leinster were outstanding,” said the New Zealander. “They outmuscled us up front and used the ball really well. They were clinical and we didn’t defend well enough, giving them a couple of soft tries.
“It’s such a tough pool and for Leinster to be so dominant has been really impressive.
“We had an awful lot of guys missing, there’s a dozen guys playing their first European campaign and the cavalry will come back in next weekend [for the final round at home to Exeter].”
A double from Fijian flyer Niko Matawalu and Adam Ashe’s 61st-minute effort salvaged some pride for the weakened Warriors.
Rob Harley, who captained Glasgow from the secondrow, added: “This is a lesson. There are small margins at this level and Leinster put in a world-class performance and that is the challenge for us now to step it up a level.”