Last week I made my first appearance at the RDS after managing to miss the first home game of the season against Treviso. I must admit that I was nervous, I have been to enough Leinster v Ospreys games in the past to know that if they fear the RDS they seldom seem to show it. So as I left barely 2 hours after I was delighted at what was a fantastic result. Not only was the scoreline extremely encouraging but so was most of the rugby on show from both sides.
One of the biggest stories of the night was the return of Sexton from injury. Carbery has done an amazing job in his absence and I am very excited to see more of him during the 6 Nations when Sexton is playing for Ireland. But it was easy to see the quality of Sexton straight away. His kicking from the tee and out of hand was excellent. But what he brings is world-class game management, he calls every shot and he always seems to make good decisions. What amazed me was why he was kept on the field until he was sinbinned, but perhaps Leo believed he needed game time under his belt coming into the vital month of October.
The attacking play of Leinster was excellent. They mixed up strong carries around the rucks, with backrow carries in the centre of the field, before releasing the talented backline. The passing and depth by supporting players made the game fascinating to watch. For the first time in a long time, the lineout was very solid and provided a really solid platform for a potent maul. The award of a penalty try from a scrum will please all the forwards, while it looks like Fogarty is beginning to build a really potent platform.
Almost as good as the attack was our defence. For long periods of the game it dealt with the up to then best attacking team in the league. The ferocity in defence could be heard in some of the bone shattering hits that players put in from the sideline.
One slight downside during the evening was that Leinster allowed Ospreys back into the game by taking their foot off the pedal for roughly 20 minutes in the second half. However this was always likely to happen as the Ospreys tried to gain revenge for going into the break 24-0 down. However, despite this it was promising to see Leinster not allow them in at the end to let them leave with a losing bonus point.
Overall it was a terrific night. The atmosphere was great at the RDS and the Leinster team put on an excellent display of rugby. One of the most promising signs for me was that Leinster looked far more dangerous in attack. In so many games last season Leinster looked so one-dimensional in attack. On Friday they regularly varied the point of attack with inside passes and carries up the middle. With a number of players still to return for Leinster, hopefully the intensity continues for the next few weeks.