They do it however they have to

Leinster… 53

Leicester Tigers… 24

When the Dublin football team were in peak unbeatable mode under Jim Gavin, the manager repeatedly spoke about everyone in the camp ‘trusting the processes’.

Watch their matches during that era and you can see it playing out. There was one signal in particular – where the player in possesion does a standing solo and raises a closed fist. It was either to take the pace out of an attack or change the point of it.

Look at the Leinster rugby team and it’s easy to see a similar ethos applies. On Friday evening, Leinster took on Leicester in the quarter final of the Heineken Cup, shorn of a number of top class performers – most notably Johnny Sexton – and they then lost James Lowe and Ryan Baird with nasty looking injuries.

Yet it was exactly at that stage that comparisons with peak Dublin were most apt. Already without Sexton and Josh van der Flier, when Baird and Lowe were forced off, those who replaced them – Scott Penny and Ciaran Frawley respectively – slotted in without the machine having to even break stride.

Owing to others stepping up to the plate when the need arose. In this case, most notably Garry Ringrose and Jimmy O’Brien. When the former of those two went over after 90 seconds, it appeared the blues were going to have a handy evening’s work.

Garry Ringrose conducted Leinster orchestra

Leicester Tigers are a proud club. One with a storied history in both English and European rugby. So that they were going to at least attempt a comeback was a given.

That said, knowing the standards to which Leo Cullen’s team operate, they will not have been happy going in only 17-10 to the good. By poking the bear, Leicester set themselves up to be summarily rebuked. And that was precisely as the second half transpired.

Five pointers followed from Penny, O’Brien, Jamison Gibson-Park, replacement hooker John McKee and a penalty try. With Ross Byrne’s almost flawless boot extracting full value most of the time.

Again though, the review meeting on Monday will no doubt ruthlessly dissect how the green and red got on for two late tries. That’s what the best do, find ways to get even better.

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