A superb second half showing helped Leinster to a bonus point 32-6 victory over Ulster at the RDS on Sunday evening…Michael Cheika Post Match Reaction…
Speaking after the game Leinster Coach Michael Cheika said: "In the first half I felt we weren’t working hard enough at the ruck. At half-time we said that we were going to address that, but saying that is different to doing it. Thankfully we did improve and I was pleased with how we performed in the second half.
"I was pleased with Rocky and he has played well for us all year. He has been a real leader for us off and on the park and between him allied to the younger players like Fergus (McFadden) that are coming through, we’re creating the right enviornment."
Leinster held a slender three-point advantage at the interval thanks to two Felipe Contepomi penalties and a sinlge reply from Ian Humphreys on the half hour mark. In truth it was a half fraught with missed chances, but Leinster looked the most likely side to make an incursion through the excellent Shane Horgan and the industrious Gordon D’Arcy.
In the second half the reigning champions sprung into life and Fergus McFadden was the first to cross the line when he finished a superb move begun by D’Arcy in the 48th minute. Contepomi added the difficult conversion.
The contest was virtually sealed when lock Leo Cullen dived over just three minutes later. Man-of-the-match Rocky Elsom got Leinster’s third try in the 67th minute, giving them time to push for the bonus point score.
With Ulster under pressure near the end, Robbie Diack was sin-binned near the end for deliberately killing the ball.
And with the last move of the game a piercing run from Simon Keogh ensured the five points ahead of the trip to Thomond Park next weekend.
LEINSTER SCORERS: F. Contepomi (3 conversions, 2 penalties), F. McFadden / L. Cullen / R. Elsom / Simon Keogh (1 try each)
ULSTER SCORERS: I. Humphreys / C. Schifcofske (1 penalty each)
15: Girvan Dempsey
14: Shane Horgan
13: Fergus McFadden (Jonathan Sexton, 50)
12: Gordon D’Arcy (Simon Keogh, 71)
11: Isa Nacewa
10: Felipe Contepomi
9: Chris Whitaker
1: Cian Healy
2: Bernard Jackman
3: Stan Wright (CJ van der Linde, 50) (Stan Wright, 58)
4: Leo Cullen CAPTAIN
5: Malcolm O’Kelly (Trevor Hogan, 61)
6: Cameron Jowitt (Sean O’Brien, 50)
7: Shane Jennings (Devin Toner, 72)
8: Rocky Elsom
REPLACEMENT NOT USED: John Fogarty
15: Clinton Schifcofske
14: Andrew Trimble
13: Darren Cave
12: Paddy Wallace
11: Simon Danielli
10: Ian Humphreys
9: Isaac Boss
1: Tom Court
2: Rory Best CAPTAIN
3: BJ Botha
4: Ed O’Donoghue
5: Ryan Caldwell
6: Matt McCullough
7: David Pollock
8: Chris Henry
16: Nigel Brady
17: Bryan Young
18: Carlo Del Fava
19: Robbie Diack
20: Cillian Willis
21: Ian Whitten
22: Timoci Nagusa
REFEREE: Carlo Damasco (FIR), ASSISTANT REFEREES: Leo Colgan (IRFU), Daragh McCormack (IRFU), 4th OFFICIAL: Peter Dennehy (ARLB), 5th OFFICIAL: Barry O’Keeffe (ARLB), TMO: Bertie Smith (IRFU)