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Bernard Jackman Thinks Leinster's Success Contributed To Bad La Rochelle Decision

Bernard Jackman Thinks Leinster's Success Contributed To Bad La Rochelle Decision
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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It is likely that Leinster will be hurting from last weekend's Champions Cup final for quite some time. Losing against a very talented La Rochelle side is one thing, but it is the manner of the defeat that will have them reeling.

Not only did they race into a 17-point lead inside the opening 12 minutes, they also squandered a golden opportunity to win the game at the end.

Trailing by one point in the dying moments and finding themselves deep into enemy territory, many felt that they should have gone for a rather straightforward drop goal that would have won them the game. Instead, they kept the ball in hand and were ultimately punished when Michael Ala'alatoa was pulled up for a dangerous hit when attempting to clear out a ruck.

Their refusal to go for the three points certainly cost them.

Bernard Jackman feels Leinster success contributed to error

Leinster have rarely been in a position where they have been chasing a game in such a manner in recent seasons, with the Irish province tending to steamroll the opposition in most of their fixtures.


Did that play a factor on this occasion? Bernard Jackman believes it might have.

Speaking on the RTÉ Rugby Podcast, the former Leinster hooker said that his old side did not seem to know what to do during this phase of play, something that may be down to the success they have experienced over the last number of campaigns.



The problem is, and this sounds terrible and I'm sure they do, but I don't know if they to go into their drop goal drill often.

If you go back to the week before, Munster had five or six goal line attacks that they didn't score from against Leinster. In Crowley's mind it was 'we've got the ball back and got inside their 22, the odds of me scoring a drop goal are higher than us getting into the 22 and scoring'.

Whereas Leinster in the first 15 minutes had converted territory into tries or penalty advantage...

Remember when New Zealand lost in Cardiff to France? After that, they made the drop goal and how to engineer a drop goal part of their weekly regime in case they needed it again.

It's definitely something Leinster didn't look like they had a call for. They obviously have a call for it, but it's not something that's drilled into them.

They probably said the percentage odds were they score a try or get a penalty, rather than score a drop goal which is higher risk.

I think in hindsight, they're going to have to say 'if we come up against a team we can't overrun, we need to have that in our locker'.

This is an interesting observation.

Considering how well Leinster are prepared, you'd imagine that they would have a plan in place for this very scenario. However, the way the passage of play went would suggest that a drop goal never even seemed to cross their minds despite the fact that it almost certainly would have won them the game.


You get the sense that they will learn from that mistake moving forward.

SEE ALSO: The Last Munster Team To Win Silverware - Where Are They Now?

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