Leinster head coach Leo Cullen revealed he was worried about suffering a second loss in a row after Glasgow took the lead early before crumbling in defeat, 76-14.
Fortunately the Irish provincial side were able to recover from the early deficit with three tries in eight minutes after Richie Gray was sent to the sin-bin by referee Andrea Piardi.
Zander Fagerson’s opening score for Glasgow in the URC quarter-final was one of just two tries scored by the visitors compared to the staggering 12 from Cullen’s triumphant side.
The Jonathan Sexton-less Leinster outfit were merciless and clinical in their first game after losing the Champions Cup final to La Rochelle last Saturday.
State of panic
“I’m always worried, all the time,” laughed Cullen, when asked if he was concerned when Leinster went down early.
“We were pleased with how we managed the yellow card period, to score three tries is a huge boost for us. How we started the second half as well, we took the game away from them quite quickly which is pleasing. All the bench guys added good impact, which is so, so important now.”
Next up at the RDS for Leinster are the Bulls, who edged out the Sharks 30-27 on Saturday afternoon in Pretoria, and Cullen admits they will be a difficult opponent.
“It’s really just getting through to the next round, there’s no extra points for scoring more tries in these games,” he said. “It’s on to the next challenge which is the Bulls, which will be significant. It’s about enjoying the week, that’s the big thing from my point of view, for the guys to enjoy another week together.
“You see it now with teams who are finished, the season is over, and the groups are never together again in that form. There’s always ‘X’ amount of movement in playing squads, that’s just the way it is. It’s about enjoying the time together, and hopefully we can push each other on in terms of delivering a performance next Friday.”
Despite a lack of difficulty in the landslide victory over Glasgow, Cullen admitted that the ruthlessness displayed by his men is great for confidence – especially after the La Rochelle loss.
“Yeah, that’s what you need to be in the modern game, isn’t it?” he added.
“It’s just nailing every opportunity that comes along as best as you possibly can, and if you miss out on an opportunity you’re not letting that drag around with you, it’s just moving on to the next challenge, the next moment in the game.
“So yeah, overall I thought the guys did that pretty well today.
“That fight and scramble is good, and that’s what you need in these play-off games.”
The Leinster boss singled out right wing Jordan Larmour, the Player of the Match, after he provided a couple of tries and try assists after being left out of the Champions-Cup final’s matchday 23.
“It was nice to see Jordan get man of the match, he was unlucky to miss out on selection last week, great to see him go well because he was excellent in that Munster game. It was a hard call, him missing out last week, but it had been his first game in a while, and the magnitude of the game, so it was good to see him go well.
“Now it’s trying to keep it going, we’ll enjoy the week, preparing, working hard for each other and see how everyone comes through the game. There will be a lot of close calls again which is what you want.
“It’s unfortunate for some guys that they will miss out. For the guys who do get the chance to represent the team, hopefully they go well.”
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