Saturday, May 16, 2015

Playing for Pride

by Emma McGarry

Edinburgh v Leinster

Leinster are playing for pride this weekend, with a lacklustre performance against Treviso just enough to secure their top 6 spot finish in the Pro12. I look at how they performed against the Italian side and what to expect from Edinburgh this Saturday in Murrayfield.

Leinster 10 - 0 Treviso

The weather was awful at the RDS, seated in the Anglesea Stand thanks to the lovely people at Setanta Sports, I suppose I was better off than those in the North and South stands but it was still pretty miserable to watch. The slippy conditions were a nightmare but I don't think it accounted for the lack of flow in Leinster's game.

Eventually we saw a try from captain Jamie Heaslip after he broke away from a 5m scrum. Lead by example and all that, he deserved MOTM but seemed disappointed in his team's effort post match as were the supporters. 

D'Arcy made an immediate impact but unfortunately couldn't break down Treviso's defence. A dangerous tackle by Edoardo Gori on D'Arcy earned him a red card but thankfully Darce wasn't injured during what was his last game in the blue jersey. He and his wife are expecting their first child this weekend so he is unavailable for Edinburgh match. I suppose the sentimentality of Darce, Jenno and Jimmy Gopperth leaving us took over the game for me, and thank god it did. The frustrated sighs coming from the stands were reflected on the pitch. Sean O'Brien was yellow carded at the ruck, in my opinion it was again the signs of a frustrated player.

The pace of the game just wasn't what it should have been and the term "a win's a win" does not really apply here. I consider Leinster to be one of the top European sides and to struggle as much as they did against a team of Treviso's status is somewhat embarrassing. Kirchner butchered an opportunity for a try in the last few minutes of the game, failing to hold on to a pass from Heaslip.

Let's not forget Jayden Hayward, missed two very kickable penalties awarded to Treviso. Had luck been on his side the score could have ended 10 - 6.

What now?

As I said before, Leinster are playing for the pride of the jersey they're wearing, not much else. It would be nice to see a good, solid win to end the season for Leinster and then they can start afresh next season, fluctuating performances have become a nightmare for both the players and supporters.

Both Leinster and Edinburgh have won 2 of their last 5 games, admittedly Leinster had tougher sides to play like Toulon. But Edinburgh still pose a threat and will not be walked all over as they are looking to claim the final Champions Cup spot ahead of Connacht and Scarlets who are also still competing. 

Emma McGarry - Hugely interested in all aspects of rugby. Supporter of Irish and Leinster Rugby. "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad" - Brian O'Driscoll

*****

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