'We were mentally weak against Connacht and the players were a little embarrassed' 1 year ago

'We were mentally weak against Connacht and the players were a little embarrassed'

John Muldoon's Connacht farewell was a critical day for the western province last season as they said their final goodbye to their longest serving player.

Connacht ran in seven tries to one against Leinster at the Sportsgrounds as they pummeled the PRO14 and European champions with Muldoon signing off on his playing career with the final conversion in a 47-10 rout in Galway.

The day belonged to Muldoon but his 76th minute place kick did not sit well with some of the Leinster players with prop Cian Healy taking particular exception to the ploy.

“Leave it to the kickers," Healy told newspaper reporters after the Edinburgh game.

"I suppose, on a personal note, that was nice for him to finish off his career, but it is something you have to take a bit of offence to when you’re not taken seriously.”

Leinster scrum coach John Fogarty said that there was a big desire within the province this week to make amends for their poor showing last season and that the players were a bit embarrassed by their performance in Galway.

"For some of the lads," Fogarty replied at Monday's squad update when asked if the Connacht game would be taken personally given Healy's comments after the Edinburgh game.

"But I think it's more their own performance. To lose a game in the manner in which we lost the game - we lost the physical battle, we lost the set-piece, obviously the scoreboard was terrible - so I think it's those parts that hurt more than anything.

"I don't think anything else matters. The lads will be disappointed in their own performance and a little bit embarrassed because they didn't play collectively. We were mentally weak if you ask me leading into that game and that showed up on the day.

"It's important for us to be clear in our heads what the threats are against Connacht and for us to arrive physically ready to play. All the other stuff - the John Muldoon stuff - it doesn't feature too much in our chats this week or in our heads as coaches. It's more how can we prepare this team to play and perform."

Fogarty added that Leinster will place a big emphasis this week on getting set early in defence from the set-piece and that they must be wary of Connacht's tendency to look for runners on the inside.

"Defensively we need to be really good," added Fogarty.

"They play a lot of side to side and when they stretch you, all the balls back inside, you saw Tom Farrell score at the weekend with those balls back inside and people knocking off in defence.

"I think first and foremost we need to be on point defensively and our set-piece has to function. Last year we came undone in our set-piece so the fundamentals of the game they're going to test us in but I think for us we're going to work very hard on getting set early in defence off the set-piece and in phase defence we're up off the ground making sure we're plugging the whole time because they'll massively test you."