Leinster 19 – Ospreys 16

Leinster v Ospreys - Guinness PRO12 Round 17

 

On Saturday, those that went were treated to a game of high quality rugby and a second half of nail-biting rugby, whilst Leinster hung on to win. Firstly, it shouldn’t be forgotten how important this win may prove to be. With an extremely hard end to the season coming up, with matches against Glasgow, Munster, Ulster and Connacht, to get the win here was vital. It was also a great game where both teams looked really dangerous when they kept ball in hand.

However, the real difference for Leinster was there defence. For huge chunks of the game they were without the ball, and inside their own half. Yet they managed to keep their organisation and continue to make tackles. If Leinster continue to defend like they did on Saturday and continue to grow in attack, they could well challenge for the league trophy this season.

The try in the first half from Leinster was a really nice move. It started with a strong scrum and then Madigan spotted a gap. He then found McFadden on his shoulder who carried and released the offload to yougster Dan Leavy at just the right time. It really shifted the momentum in the first half, and gave us a lead to build on, despite seeing very little of the ball.

If I have one strong criticism of Leinster on the day it was that they kicked the ball away far too often. As mentioned earlier, the Ospreys controlled possession and territory for the majority of the game. Leinster had to work extremely hard to win back the ball and when we finally would, we would usually box-kick straight back to the Ospreys, without an adequate chasing game. It worked because our defence is one of the best in the league, but it put us under extreme pressure, especially when we happened to look so dangerous when we did keep the ball in hand.

A special mention as well must go to Ben Teo. He played his best game in a Leinster jersey at the weekend, running over and around players for fun. He is beginning to look more and more like a serious prospect and it is a shame we lose him next season.

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