“We were always playing catch-up. It changes your whole perception on the game, you’re chasing it rather than controlling it. Our errors let us down and our discipline, so that didn’t help.”

It’s difficult to disagree with Peter Dooley’s overall assessment of Leinster’s defeat to Scarlets last Friday in Wales.

A strong start and good discipline may sound like the kind of cliches you often hear at press conferences, but they’re the foundations of every positive result.

While Leinster may not have started the game on the right foot, the finish showed the team’s never-say-die attitude and willingness to fight for each other – rewarded with a try bonus point right at the end.

Scarlets v Leinster

“Every point’s going to count, we talked about that last year,” Dooley told the media in Leinster HQ this week.

“They all add up at the end of the year. It was crucial to get the bonus point in the end.

“The boys that came on did well and especially, when you’re down to 14 men, you’re putting in an extra shift. Hopefully that bodes well for the rest of the year.

“Now we have to refocus. There are a lot of sore bodies after Friday night – it was a physical affair.”

While an eight-day turnaround may be the last thing a player wants as they look to make amends after a defeat, the slightly longer break before this Saturday’s meeting with Dragons won’t have done the squad any harm.

Peter Dooley

Another bonus will be the return to the RDS after five weeks away. Too long.

“We haven’t played in the RDS for over a month now, so it’s good to get back. The support will be huge again. We’ve seen already this year how good they’ve been.”

That support will be needed on Saturday when the Dragons come to town.

Kingsley Jones’ men have been on a good run and have won three of their last four meetings with Leinster, one of those wins in the RDS. They will be up for the fight once again in Dublin on Saturday.

“They’ve won three of their last four in all competitions. They won’t fear us, they always love coming to Dublin trying to take a big scalp.”

Leinster Rugby face Dragons this Saturday at the RDS Arena (KO 7.35pm, live TG4). Tickets are on sale from €20 for adults and €10 for under-18s.

Students can also purchase tickets for €10 through the all new Leinster Rugby App.

Leinster Rugby tickets

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