United Rugby Championship: Leinster’s Leo Cullen ‘pleased to be through’ after beating the Sharks in the quarter-finals
Leo Cullen revealed he is “pleased to be through” to the United Rugby Championship semi-finals after Leinster beat the Sharks 35-5 in a stop-start affair in Dublin.
The visitors started well, scoring the first try, but then a much-changed Leinster side took over the game and ran away on the scoreboard.
The coach expected the early onslaught from the Sharks and was pleased with how his team handled it. Cullen singled out the period where a Caelan Doris try and a Makazole Mapimi yellow card changed the landscape of the clash.
Cullen was delighted with how well Leinster managed to switch focus between competitions and gel so quickly to produce the goods against the Sharks.
“Pleased to be through, it was a bit of a stop-start game I thought,” said Cullen.
“The Sharks started well, and had a lot of intent in their play which we knew they would have.
“We settled down, Caelan got in for a good try and they lost Mapimpi to the sin-bin at the same time which is a double whammy for them. We scored a couple of other good tries in the first half.”
He added: “It was a pretty low ball in play time overall I think in the game, there was scrums, resets at the scrums and it was messy. There were a few drizzly showers as well which made it difficult to play at times. Overall we’re pleased, pleased to be though.
“There was always a chance our team this week would lack a little bit of cohesion. We’re pleased with how they applied themselves this week. It’s always hard, the dynamic of you play in a semi-final of the Champions Cup and then you go into a quarter-final of a different competition.
“There’s a big build-up and a comedown, and it’s a short window.”
Scoreline not an accurate reflection
The scoreline points strongly in Leinster’s favour but Cullen insists it was not a fair reflection as the Sharks were dangerous but could not capitalise on the chances they created.
“They missed some chances, the Sharks, which meant we were always far enough away in terms of the scoreboard,” he said.
“There are moments in the game, the scoreline I don’t think reflected the game. For us it was about making sure we get through to the next round, and come through relatively unscathed with a few bangs and bumps.”
Tadhg Furlong was replaced at half-time, but Cullen insists it was not serious. Meanwhile, Cian Healy had to be removed late on.
“We brought Cian on but he had to come off at the end. We aren’t 100% exactly sure what is up with him, but we will get him checked out. He is probably the more immediate worry at the minute, but hopefully he is not too bad,” added Cullen.
READ MORE: United Rugby Championship: Five takeaways from Leinster v Sharks as the hosts emphatically end the Durbanites’ season
The article United Rugby Championship: Leinster’s Leo Cullen ‘pleased to be through’ after beating the Sharks in the quarter-finals appeared first on Planetrugby.com.