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Sexton a doubt for return fixture after Leinster beat Bath

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

07:32 8 Dec 2018


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Leo Cullen praised his side after overcoming a game Bath side 17-10 despite their slow start to the game at The Rec.  

The difficult conditions didn't lend themselves to a running rugby as Bath powered over from close range with Henry Thomas dotting down. Leinster responded when they mauled over the home side's line - Sean Cronin touching down to get the champions on the board. 

The match was ultimately decided when Jordan Larmour intercepted a wayward James Wilson pass in the second half. 

"The big thing is the conditions - we tried to a couple of things in the first half but we probably just misfired," said Cullen. 

"I thought Bath were very aggressive in the first half, particularly in the first half, but all through the game. They were very aggressive and strong in the carry and they won a lot of the contacts in the game, so they had some momentum.

"It was limited in terms of quality, the game, because of the conditions but we've got a win, away from home and there's a lot of growth for us. We talked about the challenge for us of trying to reintegrate players and get the group back together. It's tough, especially when you have to travel away from home against a team that's highly motivated as well and the conditions are difficult.

"There's a hell of a lot of things we can get better at so we've to work harder again this week but it's good that we've got a win away from home but we know there's lots of things we can get better at. 

"Some guys haven't played in a couple of weeks and I just thought we lacked that little bit of sharpness in the first 20/30 minutes of the game and Bath got a good few turnovers in that area of the game. 

"We were just a little bit slow into that space. We know some the threats that they have, we couldn't be clearer about it so everyone is aware of Francois Louw and Sam Underhill - you've other players as well but those two in particular - and there's parts where we looked a little bit off and these back-to-back games are such a unique challenge so we're not going to take anything for granted. We just need to understand what gets us in trouble and what makes us good," he added. 

World Rugby 'Player of the Year', Johnny Sexton was taken off injured in the second half with a leg injury but Cullen was unable to provide a detailed update on the out-half other than saying: "Just his calf I think - I don't know if he got a kick on it. I don't know [how serious it is] at this point but I'll see, I'll see how he is when we get back."

The teams meet again at the Aviva Stadium next Saturday.  

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