Leinster front row tackling failings, says Seán Cronin
Seán Cronin has revealed how the Leinster front row convened 24 hours after the province’s heartbreaking Champions Cup defeat to Bath to address their failings at the Rec.
The home scrum dominated the visitors for huge spells with 16 of Bath’s points, including a penalty try, stemming from this sector.
And Cronin wasn’t attempting to gloss over the miserable afternoon as his side turn their attention to a Guinness Pro12 derby clash with Ulster on Friday night.
He said: “I think we’ve got to cop it on the chin as a front row, first and foremost.
“We probably got a couple of things wrong in terms of our approach to how we dealt with the Bath scrum, and then collectively as an eight, we probably weren’t working together.
“Probably weren’t on the same page in terms of the way we were going to address the scrum going into the game. We’ve got to cop a bit of flak there, because we didn’t probably problem-solve enough on the pitch as the game went on.”
He revealed: “A few of us came in on Sunday. The front row met to address some of the issues which went on at the weekend so it’s a tough week, a tough couple of weeks.
“The guys who were involved on Saturday came in to address what went on in terms of our front row and our application and what we need to do this week. To get a head start and make the improvement there.
“I was part and parcel of it. Things didn’t go well and the most disappointing area was we didn’t give the rest of our team-mates the platform to play off and 16 points we gave away at the scrum and that just isn’t good enough.
“People can harp on about internationals across the board, yeah we do have that, and we’re the first people to stick our hands up and say it wasn’t good enough.”
Cronin and company will be hoping for marked improvement at the RDS and on a personal level, he is relishing his battle with international compatriot Rory Best.
“I’m going up against a quality, quality player. Pitting yourself against the top players and seeing how you come out afterwards is what the game is about. I’ve huge respect for Rory.
“I’ve been playing with him in the Ireland set-up for the last few years. He’s a fabulous player. I have my own attributes as well that hopefully I can bring to the game on Friday, and try and influence it.
“I think Europe has been parked for now. We’ve got to come back to that in two weeks’ time, when we’ve got two massive games against Toulon.
“When the lads were away at the World Cup, the lads that stepped in did very well. We were going quite well in the league. We want to keep that momentum going. We just want to get a good, 80-minute performance on Friday. A win is paramount on Friday.”
- Sean Cronin was speaking at the launch of ‘Rugby Memories’, a new initiative with The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, who are one of two charity partners to Leinster Rugby this season.