Opposition view: Cullen gives credit to 'very committed' Saints

Leo Cullen was in no mood to rejoice despite Leinster claiming a second big win against Saints in as many weeks.

Sunday, 15th December 2019, 11:58 am
Updated Sunday, 15th December 2019, 11:59 am
Leo Cullen steered Leinster to another big win against Saints
Leo Cullen steered Leinster to another big win against Saints

The Irish giants were 50-21 winners at the Aviva Stadium, scoring seven tries, just as they did in their 43-16 success at Franklin's Gardens on the previous weekend.

It means Leinster have qualified for the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup, with Cullen's side sitting 10 points clear of second-placed Saints in Pool 1.

But Cullen was not totally happy with the hosts' display in Dublin.

“We had some chances I thought that we didn’t quite capitalise on,” Cullen said.

“When Northampton were down to 13 men (during the first half), they held us out at that stage and got a penalty.

"There were a couple of bits in the first half, even though we scored four tries in the first half there were other chances that we had.

“Defensively, it’s never great conceding three tries, so there are bits to do there.

"I thought Northampton, in their credit, they are missing a lot of players at the moment through injury, a lot of young guys out there, but they were very committed.

"They were very aggressive around the ruck. I think that’s what teams do, try and slow other teams up, be aggressive in that contact area, which there is a bit of risk and reward in.

"If they go aggressive, they don’t stop it (the attack), it means they commit a lot of players into that space, so there is going to be space somewhere else.

“It was a little bit mixed. Even though people are talking in quite positive terms about the performance, there’s bits in there where you are like, ‘Hmm, we could get ourselves in trouble if we deliver that again.’

“On the flip-side, it’s a win, it keeps us trucking along, and we turn our attention to other matters, back to the Guinness PRO14.”