Michael Cheika’s Ospreys Preview…
April 12, 2010 12:00 am client
Speaking ahead of Friday night’s Magners League clash against the Ospreys, Leinster coach MICHAEL CHEIKA said that the game will have their work cut out against a side who were unlucky not to progress further in Europe…
INJURY UPDATE: “Johnny (Sexton), as has been reported, had a little operation. We will just see how he pans out. I would say, looking into the extent of the injury first-hand, that it is probably going to be a few weeks…It’s a little crack in his jaw. He is pretty good really, but it is a pretty obvious injury and he can’t just go out there and say ‘I’ll be alright’, strap it up and away you go.
“I would say it is fairly touch and go as to whether he plays in the semi or not. Our first concern is this week’s match but he is definitely out of that one. (Rob) Kearney is pretty much the same.
“He is not as bad as we first thought. When you get carried off on a stretcher it isn’t ideal but, again, he will be touch and go in that environment and he is definitely out of this week’s match.
“(Brian) O’Driscoll is out of this week’s match as well. We are probably a little bit more hopeful on him now, of getting himself right in the next couple of weeks.
“We were hoping that Sean (O’Brien) would probably come back around that Glasgow game. At first, we were maybe thinking it was more positive as to whether he would or not.
“But now we’re thinking it is less of a chance that he would do that and I wouldn’t bring him back into a game straight away so we will have to wait another three or four weeks for him, I would think.
“Besides, he wouldn’t be able to give out to anyone if he couldn’t say anything so, for us now, we’re not too worried about all that now. We’re just thinking about this week’s game.
“We’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves. We are pretty happy with where we are at the moment. We have got a big match on Friday because if we sort out our home games for the rest of the season we should finish (in the) top two.
“That’s important. That’s pretty much where our concentration is. They were pretty beat up, the team, they were pretty sore after the weekend but they are ready to go now after a right good little session.”
ON COMPETITION FOR PLACES: “Obviously, we are lucky. We have got some good options to choose from. Shaun (Berne) has guided us through Heineken Cup, nearly half the pool rounds already this season, and he is a very experienced player.
“It’s going to open the door for a few guys. Fergus McFadden will come into the reckoning for a position and he has got a couple of opportunities over the next week or two to put his best foot forward for them.
“(With) Gordon (D’Arcy) and Shane (Horgan) were not on the deck today so we really only have Wednesday to give them a run. We have included them in the squad because we think that they are more likely to play this weekend than not. CJ (van der Linde) didn’t train today but he should be available this weekend.”
ON TOULOUSE SEMI FINAL DRAW: “Everything varies from week to week. Before the game the commentators were saying they haven’t been great this year and after the game they were saying ‘Oh my God, they are geniuses!’
“You know what their potential is because their playing roster hasn’t changed a whole lot over the years, except that it has probably got a bit stronger and they have added some new blood.
“They have got amazing depth from the bench. Knowing the way of thinking down there a little bit, I don’t think they mind too much that it is us. I think they would prefer it to be us than, say, Munster.
“Maybe they think we are still a little bit tender. That might be the impression of Leinster in France and, also, everyone in France seems to think that we were a bit lucky to win the other day and don’t see the work that went into the match either.”
ON THE OSPREYS THIS FRIDAY: “On Friday we have to play a team that should probably be in the semi-finals themselves and they will be hurting from it. Hopefully Ulster can rough them up a little bit tomorrow night and get them as tired as humanly possible for Friday!
“We believe in ourselves, there is no issue there. We have got to manage our resources well and we have had a good season so far. We haven’t had many losses.
“We are very proud of that record and we will get stuck in as long as it takes from Friday because we are going to have a congested fixture list too. There is the refixed match with Connacht to come as well over the next few weeks.
“With the injuries we are going to have to manage our resources pretty much perfectly to get everyone in the best possible position for that match.
“The focus has got to be on ourselves. Maybe because we hadn’t played Clermont before I was a bit guilty of making the team too aware of the opposition’s threats as opposed to worrying about Leinster so that’s a lesson learned for me. I’ll just get the team sorted out in its own play. We have worked on a lot of basic play now that we are going to stick to over the next while – get everyone positive about our own attack and defence.”