Glasgow identify Sexton as Leinster’s dangerman

Glasgow Warriors have bagged themselves the Scottish bragging rights for the season – but now they face the ultimate European club rugby challenge in the shape of defending Heineken Cup champions Leinster at Firhill in Round 5 at Sunday lunchtime.

The 23-23 draw with Edinburgh at Murrayfield and the 17-12 victory at Firhill earned the Warriors the 1872 Cup and those local bragging rights but the pain of the 38-13 Heineken Cup defeat at the hands of Leinster in Dublin in Round 2 is still raw.

“That defeat in Dublin was hugely disappointing but we do not need any additional motivation for Sunday other than that we will be playing the current European champions – and knowing that right now they are in outstanding form,” said head coach Sean Lineen

“Leinster’s overall game is pretty much complete and they are tremendously physical at the breakdown. They also make the right decisions across the board and Jonny Sexton makes them even that little bit more special.

“Not many teams could manage the loss of a player of Brian O’Driscoll’s talents and influence in the way Leinster have coped but they have a fantastic culture and a lot of strong leaders throughout the team that makes Leinster what they are.

“From players like Rob Kearney and Isa Nacewa at the back, to their half backs and a really formidable back row they are some side.

“Our guys certainly know they are in for another huge test on Sunday but it is also one they are very much looking forward to.”

The Warriors, who travel to Bath Rugby in Round 6, have picked up 10 points so far from wins over Bath and Montpellier, along with a 13-13 draw in Montpellier, have never won more than three group games in a season and have bettering that mark as an added incentive.

“We are where we are in both the Pro12 and the Heineken Cup but our next two games in the Heineken Cup are absolutely huge in terms of our ambitions not only for this season but also beyond into the seasons ahead,” said Lineen

“However, if you do not bring your ‘A’ game to Heineken Cup matches then you can find yourself in real trouble and we know we are going to have to really perform at our best against Leinster and then again at Bath.

“There is a really good feel factor in Scottish rugby at the moment, and plenty of positives coming from Scottish Rugby, and it is up to ourselves and Edinburgh to build on that.

“We are confident we will have a great crowd for Leinster on Sunday and naturally we will go out with the aim of winning the game to stay in contention,” added Lineen.

“In the Round 2 match in Dublin we did come back in second half but by then the game was over. It was hugely disappointing but the players know they are better than that.
“The guys lost concentration at the end, probably through a bit of naivety with a few having their first experiences of Heineken Cup rugby.

“Unforced errors early on cost us 14 points and they will have learnt from that. However, while our set piece play has been pretty good and the players are working hard for each other, we have to cut out the unforced errors, like kicks out on the full or wayward passes, to really take things on.”

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