Leinster returned to the top of the Magners League table thanks to a 23-6 victory over the Cardiff Blues in the RDS on Saturday evening…Michael Cheika Post Match Reaction…
Speaking after the game, Leinster Coach Michael Cheika said: “I think that there was some poor parts to our game, in particular around the ruck with the ball placement. We actually made some good breaks, but we weren’t able to secure the next phase well enough to get that into our set up.
“We were lucky that Blair wasn’t a bit more accurate, we would have been under a bit more pressure. I think it’s representative of where we are at this part of the season.
“We strung some good bits of play together at the start of the game, but the game goes for eighty minutes and there was a lot of players in the Cardiff team who, because they don’t get the chance week in, week out, they were keen to show themselves.
“It’s always that conundrum in that situation where you play against teams in that situation where they’ve lost a lot of player. It’s one thing we didn’t want to do is take them lightly because we saw they have a lot of threats.”
Tries from Shane Horgan and Stephen Keogh drove Leinster to a 17-point win over the Cardiff Blues at the RDS, with out-half Jonathan Sexton kicking 13 points to help his side to a deserved victory.
In the 11th minute Luke Fitzgerald, who was a constant thorn in Cardiff’s side, broke and Gordon D’Arcy took the ball on and when the ball fell for Sexton he expertly kicked ahead for the impressive Shane Horgan to pounce and score to send the home crowd into delirium.
Ben Blair kicked penalties on 30 and 37 minutes for the visitors to leave Leinster with a 13-6 half time advantage, but in a tense second half with neither side creating opportunities it took a 77th minute effort from replacement Stephen Keogh who barged in from close in to seal the win and return Leinster to the summit of the league.
LEINSTER SCORERS: Shane Horgan, Stephen Keogh (1 try each), Jonathan Sexton (3 penalties, 2 conversions)
CARDIFF SCORERS: Ben Blair (2 penalties)
15: Isa Nacewa
14: Shane Horgan
13: Brian O’Driscoll (Shaun Berne, 78)
12: Gordon D’Arcy (Girvan Dempsey, 37)
11: Luke Fitzgerald
10: Jonathan Sexton
9: Eoin Reddan
1: Cian Healy (CJ van der Linde, 72)
2: John Fogarty (Bernard Jackman, 69)
3: CJ van der Linde (Mike Ross, half time)
4: Leo Cullen CAPTAIN
5: Malcolm O’Kelly (Nathan Hines, 48)
6: Kevin McLaughlin
7: Sean O’Brien (Stephen Keogh, 66)
8: Jamie Heaslip
REPLACEMENT NOT USED: Simon Keogh
15: Ben Blair
14: Richard Mustoe
13: Gareth Thomas
12: Gavin Evans
11: Chris Czekaj
10: Sam Norton Knight
9: Richie Rees
1: Darren Morris
2: Rhys Williams
3: Taufa’ao Filise
4: Deiniol Jones
5: Paul Tito CAPTAIN
6: Scott Morgan
7: Ben White
8: Xavier Rush
16: Rhys James
17: Gary Powell
18: James Down
19: Josh Navidi
20: Darren Allinson
21: Ceri Sweeney
22: Dafydd James
REFEREE: James Jones (WRU), ASSISTANT REFEREES: David Wilkinson (IRFU), Richard Kerr (IRFU), 4th OFFICIAL: Tom Tuohy (ARLB), 5th OFFICIAL: Brendan Conway (ARLB), TMO: Simon McDowell (IRFU)