On Saturday Leinster played Treviso in a much-win game for them. They knew going in to the game would guarantee a home semi-final. So the stage was set for a lose-lose situation in my opinion. That is because Treviso are such a poor team, if you win, nobody is going to bat an eyelid or congratulate you. However if you lose like Connacht did last round, everyone will sit up and take notice.
So credit must go to Leinster, in some regards to how they dispatched Treviso without the result looking in doubt. On top of this, they scored some really nice tries, especially the ones that were finished off from Sexton and Nacewa. Some of the handling was good, linking forwards and backs brilliantly.
There were three players who really stood out for Leinster in my eyes. The first was Nacewa, who looked really sharp in attack and took over the kicking duties with no hesitation at the beginning of the second half. The second player that caught my attention was Ringrose. He made numerous breaks in the first half and made a huge amount of metres. Unfortunately when Rob Kearney went off he was switched to wing, where he didn’t get as much of the ball. Finally I thought Heaslip was terrific. He often does a lot of the unseen work and puts in huge shifts every time he plays. On Saturday, he also carried really well and it was nice to see him putting in some big hits.
One criticism I have of Leinster is that they let in three soft tries. It’s easy to see how they took the foot off the pedal near the end, but it shouldn’t happen nontheless. The worrying thing is that Leinster in their last three games have leaked 4 tries and 3 tries twice. This is concerning, especially because they had such a serious defensive record before these.
Now on the 20th May, Leinster will face Ulster in the first semi-final. After travelling up to the away game a few weeks ago, it is safe to say I’m not overly confident! That day Ulster were far better than Leinster in almost every facet of the game! But hopefully with home advantage the result could be different. Before I finish I must say a massive well done to Leinster for finishing first in the league. From the beginning of the season with the World Cup and then subsequently during the 6 Nations, Leinster have had almost their entire starting team missing due to the internationals. And we have suffered injuries to some of our key players. I’ve always believed that the sign of a great team is to win games when they aren’t playing well, but it is incredible to top the league without playing wonderfully well! So congratulations Leinster, and let’s see if we can go forward and win the playoffs!