Edinburgh isn’t exactly the scene of last week’s crime but it should be close enough to concentrate minds as Leinster seek to atone for the manner in which they coughed up a winning lead down the M8 in Glasgow last time out.
In command with over 50 minutes on the clock at Scotstoun, the visitors conceded a simple try when Tommy Seymour intercepted young Joey Carbery’s pass, but the manner in which points continued to leak thereafter reflected badly on the collective.
“It’s not ideal,” said forwards coach John Fogarty. “We concede seven points and another seven shortly after it pretty cheaply. The important part for the group is learning from it and not having that dip. Stuff happens sometimes. You’ve got to be able to roll with it and be able to keep playing. There was a bit of a dip in the group with those 14 points in the second-half. That’s what we’ll look at, more than we’ll look at Joey’s pass, to ensure that the group is learning.”
As defeats go, it was at least consistent with recent history. It seems remarkable to say it, but Leinster have won just once in Scotland since January of 2013 and they are looking to bank a first win anywhere on the road since a successful trip to Italy last February earned them the spoils against Zebre.
Murrayfield is always a hard slog. Only 2,650 voices echoed around those big old stands when Alan Solomons’ side bounced back from an opening loss in Cardiff with a 20-9 defeat of Scarlets in round two and accusations of dull, uninspiring rugby continue to grow.
Leinster have at least shown signs of more much-needed invention themselves this season and it will be interesting to observe how, with Jonathan Sexton still not fit, Carbery fares at 10 alongside the new Kiwi arrival Jamison Gibson-Park at scrum-half.
The test quartet of Jamie Heaslip, Jack McGrath, Sean Cronin and Devin Toner all make seasonal starts from the off and when young flanker Dan Leavy looks around him this evening he will see a pack bursting with international experience. Zane Kirchner starts at full-back in the absence of Rob Kearney who hobbled off injured in Glasgow last week. Officials say it is a grade two PCL injury which will keep him inactive for the “next few rounds” of the Pro12. Definitely not long-term, they say. Even so, this is a measurably stronger Leinster side that takes to the park tonight and Edinburgh – who show three changes from the side that accounted for Scarlets — are no Glasgow. Tonight should be a night for righting a few wrongs for the visitors.
G Bryce; M Allen, S Tofilau, P Burleigh, T Brown; D Weir, N Fowles; R Sutherland, R Ford, WP Nel; B Toolis, G Gilchrist; M Bradbury, H Watson, V Fihaki.
McInally, A Dell, K Bryce, F McKenzie, C Du Preez, S Hidalgo-Clyne, S Rasolea, B Kinghorn.
Z Kirchner; I Nacewa, G Ringrose, N Reid, D Kearney; J Carbery, J Gibson-Park; J McGrath, S Cronin, M Ross; D Toner, M McCarthy; J Murphy, D Leavey, J Heaslip.
B Byrne, C Healy, T Furlong, R Molony, J van der Flier, L McGrath, C Marsh, R O’Loughlin.
D Wilkinson (IRFU).
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