Rugby

Keith Wood praises Garry Ringrose as Leinster beat Toulouse

Simon Maguire
Simon Maguire

03:56 12 Jan 2019


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Leinster recorded a comfortable 29-13 win over Toulouse at the RDS on Saturday and are now in pole position to claim a quarter-final spot in this season's Heineken Champions Cup.

Tries from Jack Conan, Dave Kearney, Sean Cronin and Adam Byrne secured Leinster a bonus point win and former Ireland captain Keith Wood was quick to praise how the squad reacted to losing some of their more experienced names in the lead up to the match, telling Connor Morris on Off the Ball: "I think they had all the answers - I think they dealt with the storm that Toulouse had from the start of the game. There was a lot of players who, a lot of big name players missing - there was a little bit of nervousness in the crowd coming in because of that fact but I think all the players stood up and did what they were supposed to do.

"I thought a lot of players played well - I thought Luke McGrath played well at the start. Ross Byrne got into the game better after about 15 minutes...but in Garry Ringrose they had the main player on the field - the main leader on the field who seemed to raise the crowd every single time the team needed it. I thought it was a really professional performance," he added.

Despite the loss, Wood highlighted the style the French side brought to Dublin and hopes they continue to evolve a game plan rooted in running rugby, saying: "I think this is one of those great steps on the journey for Toulouse - I've been so impressed with them all year. When I was looking down at the field at the very start, I was struck by how small they were and maybe they didn't have huge strength and depth themselves on the bench.

"I think they are on a journey. I think to come and win over here doesn't happen very often. I also think they played until the end and scored a scored a try in the last play of the game. They had five or ten minutes where they were a little bit aimless - they also didn't know how to play into the wind as they put themselves under pressure and they didn't know how to play with the wind because they didn't kick the ball at all in the first half.

"Whereas, when you watch Leinster in the second half, nearly the whole of the play was between the 10 yard line and the '22 of Toulouse so they're going to learn from this - they're a young team. They're a capable team. I just think the manner in which they're playing is of vital importance to rugby in the northern hemisphere because this is what we want to be able to watch - it was brilliant."

Leinster head to Wasps while Toulouse welcome Bath to France in the final round of pool fixtures next weekend.

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