Danny Care: Harlequins nine hails Leinster and Jamison Gibson-Park after Champions Cup showing

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Jamison Gibson-Park’s inspiring showing in Leinster’s 20-0 first half against Leicester impressed Harlequins and ex-England scrum-half Danny Care.

The Irish provincial side built an insurmountable lead before the interval in the Champions Cup quarter-final partially thanks to Gibson-Park‘s decisive play at the breakdown against the English league leaders.

As a result of this, the Ireland regular drew praise from fellow high-tempo scrum-half Care, who also beat Leicester with Quins, albeit by a much slimmer margin in the Premiership.

Alongside Leicester wing Chris Ashton on the BBC’s Rugby Union Weekly podcast, Harlequins’ top try scorer was full of compliments for Leinster, Gibson-Park and the first-class service he receives from his forwards.

A man after his own heart

“What I love about Gibson-Park is just the tempo that he brings,” offered Care, regarding the high-pace rugby that the scrum-half plays.

“Leinster for me are the best team in this competition.

“Technically they are the best team, their attacking breakdown – and I am a bit of a nause at the breakdown now in terms of attack because to get quick ball as a nine who wants to run your attacking breakdown has to be spot on.

“If you want to see how to carry a ball and clean a ruck out and promote the ball quickly to a nine, watch that Leinster performance against Leicester. This sounds like a simple thing but their ball carriers run so hard into the contact. You would say, ‘Well, everybody should run hard’ but there is a difference between running hard and running to bust. Leinster run to bust every single time and then their two support players are there with them in a millisecond, with a split second of the ball carrier being there and they just blitz that breakdown.

“So for a Leicester defender, the defence coach will say at times make the ruck slower but you can’t because they are so efficient. They are in there so quickly that the ball is then on a plate and then Gibson-Park can do what he wants because no defence can get set.

“They haven’t had time and they can’t slow the ball down, he can pick and run, he can pass, he can kick, he can do anything. It’s almost the silver service and then he has got the quickness in thought and the quickness of mind to go and exploit gaps or put little kicks over or get the ball to (Johnny) Sexton who then throws it out the back door. I was blown away by their breakdown.

“As soon as I saw them start that game that way I thought, ‘Oh my God, how are Leicester going to stop this?’ Fair play, they (only) scored three tries. Another team would have shipped seven, eight, nine tries against Leinster that day because their attacking breakdown was phenomenal.

“I haven’t seen that level of intensity in the Premiership or in most cases in Europe this year. That aspect of the game, they are like a level above and then Gibson Park, his job is made a lot easier. Don’t get me wrong, he is a brilliant rugby player but that service that he gets off the base is the best in Europe.”

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The article Danny Care: Harlequins nine hails Leinster and Jamison Gibson-Park after Champions Cup showing appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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