Guinness Pro12: Leinster weren’t good enough, admits Matt O’Connor
Guinness Pro12: Matt O'Connor admits his Leinster side weren't good enough after a 22-20 defeat
Matt O’Connor admitted his side weren’t good enough after their 22-20 Guinness PRO12 defeat by Glasgow Warriors on Saturday.
The reigning champions conceded three tries in the opening 32 minutes as the Warriors raced to a 19-0 lead before rallying in the closing stages to take a 20-19 lead with just four minutes remaining.
It was an opportunity for us to get the win, but ultimately we weren’t good enough
Indiscipline in front of their try-line ultimately cost the Irish province as Stuart Hogg kicked a penalty from close range in the last minute to deny the visitors.
“We were second best for large parts of it,” O’Connor said. “The fight back was tremendous, but the start was disappointing.
“We got a little bit of parity at the breakdown and from there we got field position and momentum. It was an opportunity for us to get the win, but ultimately we weren’t good enough.
“The back 20 minutes of the second half we were very, very good and we played in the right areas and put them under pressure, and took our opportunities. To be in front at 80 minutes and not get the result is very disappointing.”
Leinster lost centre Noel Reid to an ankle injury after just 42 seconds, but their afternoon got worse as fluid movement and deft offloading from the Warriors saw Peter Horne, Jonny Gray and Josh Strauss to go over.
O’Connor conceded that defeating the Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium is no easy task as they slumped to a second successive defeat in Glasgow’s west end and the Australian is convinced that the Scottish club will be in the mix for the play-offs again at the end of the season.
“Glasgow are a fantastic squad; very well coached,” O’Connor added. “They’re incredibly hard to beat here at home so they’re going to be there or thereabouts—they’re a fantastic squad, and you’d imagine seeing them in the semis.”
As for Leinster’s chances of finishing top of the table again as they go for three titles in succession, O’Connor conceded that it is too early to tell what the season will have in store.
“I wouldn’t have a clue at this point,” he said. “It’s September—there’s a hell of a long way to go. We’re interested in game on game. From that end, we’ve got to make sure that we’re good enough next weekend against the Scarlets.”