Lessons of the past leave Molony on guard

Lessons of the past leave Molony on guard

Andy Farrell has been helping Ireland channel their “true Irish grit” in recent weeks — and Ross Molony wants Leinster to do the same.

The province are back in Guinness PRO14 action this weekend, with the visit of Cheetahs to the RDS on Saturday afternoon, and Leo Cullen’s men are hoping to keep their 100% season record intact.

But Molony is aware things can, and have, gone wrong for Leinster at this end of the season. Last season they lost away to Edinburgh, before drawing at home to Benetton not long after and then losing to Glasgow in Dublin.

In 2018, they again lost away to Edinburgh before losing to Ospreys in Wales.

In the coming three weekends, they host Cheetahs, travel to Ospreys, before welcoming Glasgow to the RDS.

“This window is about making the group as kinda tight-knit as possible,” Molony said.

“It is quite a tight squad in general and then there can be some disruption with lads going away and lads filtering back in from the Irish squad.

We have a few lads in training from the AIL with us at the moment, like Bart Vermeulen (a Belgium U18 prop) and lads like that so there is a lot of chopping and changing.

“It was the same at the start of the season during the World Cup period, and last season during the Six Nations too, for maybe two seasons we seemed to get quite bullied by teams.

“We seemed to have quite a few more away games than home games, but we probably didn’t really step up to that.

“So we have used that as a building block for a few years now so lads are just excited to get going.”

Molony expects some new faces to be involved in the coming weeks, but there are unlikely to be any debutants this Saturday against third placed Conference opponents from South Africa.

Ruan Pienaar’s side are just five points behind Ulster, who are in turn 11 points behind unbeaten Leinster.

“I think their concentration will be all on us at the start of their [three-game] tour,” Molony said. “They had the Southern Kings twice before they came over, winning twice, so they have a bit of momentum there.

“Last year they came to the RDS and probably shook us a bit, and they will probably be looking to do the same. They probably got a bit of confidence from that game.

I think their back three is very dangerous, they are always looking to bring pace to the game and they are looking to do quick line-outs, looking to throw the ball over the back of the line-out to a back running on to it.

“They are always looking to get their fast players into the game and that is up to us to manage but obviously that will be weather dependent so we might be looking at going after them up front, going at then at the set-piece where we might see a few opportunities.”

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