Man-of-the-match Garry Ringrose hails Leinster collective

Ireland centre pays tribute to his pack after crucial Champions Cup win over Toulouse

Garry Ringrose was named man-of-the-match in Leinster’s comprehensive win over Toulouse. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Garry Ringrose was named man-of-the-match in Leinster’s comprehensive win over Toulouse. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

 

On an afternoon when Leinster performed superbly as a team and had a plethora of standout performers, few would quibble with the decision to award Garry Ringrose the man-of-the-match award.

He was outstanding in every facet of the game, proving his team with go-forward ball, often when there didn’t appear a scintilla of space, and on the other side of the ball intelligently marshalling the defence. It was a complete performance to embellish the work of his forward pack.

The midfield partnership of Ringrose and Rory O’Loughlin functioned beautifully as it had done against Bath. Tpyically modest, he wasn’t interested in personal plaudits preferring to focus on the collective effort.

“You can’t underestimate the work that it takes to get a bonus point against Toulouse. It was a squad effort from the 23 that were lucky enough to go out and represent the whole group. There was still a huge amount of competition for places there and we were well aware of that.”

It was interesting that he chose Leinster’s goal-line stand in the second half as one of the pivotal moments in the game. “It was a big moment. Have to commend the forwards for the effort they put in there, they really fought tooth and nail for every inch.

“Certainly, from the forwards perspective, it shows how much it means to them and an opportunity to show the 18,500 people that paid to watch us how much it means to us.”

He admitted that there wasn’t any wriggle room to relax, even when Leinster forged ahead on the scoreboard. “It certainly felt like it was on a knife-edge for the whole game really, with the quality of attack and players they have.

“They can really break you from anywhere and even at times in the second half when we managed to pin them a little bit deeper, we couldn’t really (allow a) lapse in concentration at all. As they showed in the last play there, if you switch off for one second they can be that dangerous. It was really tough in that regard, that you couldn’t afford to lapse at any stage.”

The wind was a factor and Leinster adapted their patterns according. “I don’t know if the mentality changed, the wind probably played into how we tactically played at the start of the second half. We probably had to run a bit more in the first half, and it was trickier for the nines and 10s to kick into that breeze.

“We took advantage of it once or twice in the second half. I don’t think much changed tactically outside of that, we still had to try and play our brand of rugby and get the balance of attacking and taking them on and putting them under pressure right.

“You have to get everything right if you want to beat them and it took a full 23 man effort to deliver a win there.

“The scoreboard probably flatters us a bit as well. If one or two things had have gone differently, like if an offload stuck for them, the scoreboard may look a little bit different. We’re well aware of that, and it wasn’t perfect from our perspective.

“Whether we win or lose, we have to learn from games like that. Obviously, we’re immensely proud of the effort from everyone to get the win but we’ll still take it as an opportunity to learn.”

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