All Black legend and Toulouse skills coach Jerome Kaino was evidently in awe of yesterday’s performance from Leinster following their 40-17 Champions Cup semi-final victory over his side.
Leinster vs Toulouse
After the game, Kaino spoke highly of the skills of Leinster and the quality of the game as a whole, likening it to international standard.
“I think if they play like that with any team, they’ll be hard to beat. That pace, that intensity, that organisation, they’re definitely international level type of games. If they keep playing like that they’ll definitely be hard to beat.
“If you look at the quality of teams that were in our competition, in our pool and still to be able to make it to the semi-final for us, we can hold our heads high, but I think today we came up short against a ruthless and definitely a championship team. When we reflect I think there will be more than one area that we think we can improve. But I think we have to congratulate Leinster who didn’t allow us to play the way we wanted. I think we’ll digest that later.”
Kaino retired from rugby in 2021, playing his last season with Toulouse, and finished his international career in 2017.
He was part of an all-conquering New Zealand team, who are widely regarded as the greatest of all time, having won the World Cup in 2015.
As a blindside flanker in that side, Kaino played alongside two of the most skillful forwards to ever play in Richie McCaw and Kieran Read, making his comments on the prowess of this Leinster a touch more meaningful.
While he would have played with some world-class front rowers also, such as the Franks brothers and Joe Moody, we doubt he has seen the likes of what Tadhg Furlong produced at the Aviva yesterday afternoon.