Leinster boss O’Connor plays down big success at Saints

HAPPY MAN - Leinster boss Matt O'Connor (Picture: Linda Dawson)
HAPPY MAN - Leinster boss Matt O'Connor (Picture: Linda Dawson)
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Leinster boss Matt O’Connor feels the 40-7 scoreline his side racked up at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday was not a fair reflection of the game.

Instead, he believes Saints pushed his men much closer than the six tries and 10 points the Irish side kicked would suggest.

A hat-trick from Luke Fitzgerald and further scores from skipper Jamie Heaslip, Eoin Reddan and Brian O’Driscoll put a gloss on proceedings.

And though O’Connor was delighted with the clinical nature of his team’s performance, he was in no mood to criticise Saints’ showing.

“It gets said a lot but I don’t think the scoreline is indicative of how tough the game was,” said the former Leicester Tigers coach.

“We played very well, they were a bit inaccurate, we had chances and they didn’t. It was probably nothing more than that.”

Leinster were led by an inspired performance from Ireland centre O’Driscoll.

The legendary Lion was involved in most that was good about his team’s performance, setting up the first two tries and also dotting down himself.

And O’Connor said: “Brian (O’Driscoll) gives the group so much. His experience and his composure just gives the guys confidence and that was probably the most pleasing thing.

“He hasn’t been in our environment that much this year but what he gives the guys in training and on the field is massive.”

But Leinster are in no mood to write Saints off ahead of Saturday’s return date at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

And O’Connor is demanding another big performance from his team.

“You need to make sure you put out the best quality performance week after week and we’re under no illusions as to how tough next week will be at the Aviva Stadium,” he said.

“In front of a big crowd in Dublin, we need to make sure we’re as good again.”