Caputo: “Margins in Europe and PRO12 getting tighter”
December 4, 2014 12:00 am client
After last weekend’s win in the Guinness PRO12 against Ospreys, and with a return to Champions Cup action this weekend, Leinster scrum coach Marco Caputo believes the margins in the two competitions are getting tighter.
Going into the final 10 minutes of the match against Ospreys the teams were level at 12-12 but it was the Leinster line-out and scrum that provided the platform for victory with penalties won in the final minutes, converted by Jimmy Gopperth.
Marco Caputo believes there will be more tight games like this in the Champions Cup and Guinness PRO12 because of the quality teams throughout both competitions. This means the squad can only work week to week and game to game, without looking too far ahead.
“The thing that really stands out, not only in the European Cup but also the PRO12, is that the margins are really tight and it comes down to, on any given day, two or three moments in the game,” Caputo said speaking to the media in Leinster HQ this week.
“The margins there are either catching the pass or dropping the pass. You’re not seeing the blow-out scores that you might see a season or two ago; it is very tight all the way through. The welfare of your group and how you manage your group, the way you send your team out on match day and the state you send them out is just getting tighter and tighter. Unfortunately, by the nature of the two competitions that we’re in, good teams will miss out, so we’ve got to take a week by week approach.”
With several players absent from the Ospreys game due to either being rested after international duty or through injury, getting the four points in a tough game against the league leaders was “very pleasing”.
“Against the Ospreys we were in an arm wrestle. It was pretty clear they came out with an intent not to play too expansively and were just looking to get something out of that game. In my mind, quite often from a team point of view when you’ve got players missing and you’re really testing the depth of your squad, it’s very pleasing to come out of that sort of game, having been in an arm wrestle, and won ugly.”
With a result secured last weekend, the aim for this Sunday’s Champions Cup match in the Stoop against Harlequins is to do the same.
“For me it’s most important that we get focused on what we can control and win the game of footy that’s in front of us. Whichever way you do that, getting the result for me is the most pleasing thing and the most important thing that gets done on game day.”
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