Another year, another capitulation from Leinster. Last weekend's Champions Cup final loss to La Rochelle marks their third consecutive year of being knocked out of the competition by Ronan O'Gara's side despite being heavy favourites to win it.
Speaking after the game, Irish rugby legend Stephen Ferris didn't hold back on where the blame lay for Leinster's fall from glory after their miraculous start to the game, scalding Leinster's lack of leadership and lack of assuming responsibility when it mattered.
What can a coach do? It's the same players that played in last year's final as this year. It's the same guys, you can't turn around and go 'oh yeah the head coach!'.
It's the same players that were defending those mauls last season, the same players that were getting knocked back in collisions last year and they had to take responsibility on the pitch.
While Ferris might have excused the coaching staff he wasn't as easy on the Leinster players, who lacked leadership, rubbishing claims that the referee affected the game.
They looked like they lacked a little bit of leadership at key moments of that second half... the boys were in huddles everytime there was a break in play...key players were probably trying to say 'this is what we're going to have to do to try and exit. But that's okay in a break of play. It has to happen when the game is flowing, it has to happen when somebody comes up and makes a game changing hit.
It's not just saying the right things you have to lead by actions and I thought they lacked that a little bit... You know how many more times are we going to see this?
People screaming and shouting about the referee, the referee didn't determining the outcome of the result.
While Leinster may be rueing their squandered opportunities and plenty of people now asking what their constant capitulation in key games means for an expectedly Leinster-centric Ireland squad heading to a World Cup in September. Ferris was sure Leinster's players would bounce back from this.
They'll be better for this. They have to be better for this.
Keep getting knocked back and you're gonna get up again and they're gonna come back fighting.
We always say 'oh there's always next year. Well there is always next year and that's something that Leinster can look forward to.
With how important Leinster's players were to Andy Farrell's Six Nations squad, here's hoping Ferris is right and Leinster's capitulations don't become Ireland's losses in September.
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