Sports Digest: Leinster wins but coach Joe Schmidt displeased
Leinster wins away in Bath on Sunday
By: CATHAL DERVAN | Published Thursday, December 15, 2011, 9:08 AM | Updated Thursday, December 15, 2011, 10:57 AM
Champions Leinster did enough to earn an away win in Bath on Sunday, but coach Joe Schmidt was far from happy with elements of the 18-13 win in England as Jonathon Sexton kicked six penalties for the Blues.
“The frustration was that we couldn’t get the ball over their line. We appeared to have a couple of gilt-edged chances,” Schmidt said afterwards.
“We want to be a lot more accurate to make sure we finish opportunities that we create, but I am delighted with the result. Against a quality team it’s hard to create opportunities, and the last thing you want to do is butcher them like we did today. We almost suffocated ourselves at times.”
Meanwhile, Munster’s impressive Heineken Cup form of late continued with a 17-14 victory over the Scarlets in Wales, a result described by captain Paul O’Connell as ‘a hell of a win.”
Niall Ronan scored the only try for the Reds and the impressive Ronan O’Gara added four penalties on his 100th appearance in the competition.
“It was a really hard-fought win,” said O’Connell. “We started really poorly and when you start like that against a team like the Scarlets, with the caliber of player they have, you get punished and that’s what happened.
“They scored an early try and a penalty and we were probably lucky they missed two kicks at goal, but we settled down then. It’s a hell of a win for us and we are absolutely thrilled with it, but we are fully aware it’s only halftime.
“From our point of view there is nothing like a loss to focus the mind so I’d imagine next week when they come to Limerick will be an incredibly tough game. It’s a great win and we are very proud of it.”
O’Connell felt Munster’s pack set the tone for their win. He added, “I thought our pack was excellent. We got a lot of yardage from our scrum and some points from our scrum.
“It’s massively important we have got a home game next but it’s not like we are running away with any games. Every game is a fight to the death at the moment and every game is a battle.
“There is no danger of us getting ahead of ourselves. We know how close the games are and we will be fully focused against the Scarlets next week.”