Saturday, January 17, 2015

Leinster Rugby TV interview with Matt O'Connor


In case you missed it, here's the 2-part Leinster Rugby TV interview with coach Matt O'Connor published yesterday...





Some of his comments include: 

2014 Highlight

"I think the highlight of the season was definitely the (PRO12) Final. A packed RDS, fantastic day and we probably saved our best rugby of the season for that day, which was very, very pleasing.The RDS has a fantastic atmosphere - the family feel and all generations there together. It's pretty positive - they enjoy their rugby, they like to see entertaining, attacking rugby, and they bring that attitude to the contest."

Player Retention

"One of the huge positives of my time here has been our ability to retain those world class guys. Jamie Heaslip, Sean O'Brien, Rob Kearney signing on for long-term deals says a lot about the environment, says a lot about Leinster. Together with a lot of very, very talented young guys in the environment that we've been able to maintain, that will ensure the growth and strength of the province for a very, very long time."

Below Par Performances

"You want guys to be training week-on-week with the guys that they're going to play with and then the preparation that goes into the performance at the weekend you want to build on that over a couple of weeks, but just due to circumstance, whether it be player management issues or injury, we haven't had the ability to do that - disappointing because you want to try and get better game-on-game, week-on-week. There were stages where it was put on the Band-Aids, patch us up and go out there and do enough to get a result, and that makes it difficult to grow your game."

High Expectations 

"[Having that] expectation is positive. However the expectation from the wider community is never as great as the expectation in the environment. It's always going to be there, that's the reality of it, but it's a little bit short-sighted in the sense that you're not really comparing apples for apples. It's very, very dangerous to compare season to season because the dynamics are so different: the opposition, the way the game's gone. There's so many different factors that contribute to winning and losing in professional sport. I think people are entitled to their opinion but you'd like to have a little bit better clarity and understanding of some of the dynamics at times."

Sexton Coming Back

"Talking to guys that have been in and around the environment previously with Johnny, he drives the standards incredibly hard and he wants to be really good; he wants to win everything, and that's infectious and rubs off on everybody in the environment. To have those sort of guys in and around it just drives the whole place to be as good as we can be."

courtesy of Leinster Rugby
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