Cullen's charges ready to fight fire with fire

Cullen's charges ready to fight fire with fire

Leinster face a test of physicality this weekend as they gear up to take on the Bulls in Dublin.  

 


In the lead-up to the match, the Bulls have cited La Rochelle’s win over the Irish giants in the Champions Cup final as a blueprint for victory, but Leinster coach Leo Cullen is backing his charges to dish out the tough stuff on the pitch with an Irish-international-laden pack of forwards. 

 

"You need to be adaptable in the game, to the conditions and the referee, etc," he said. 


 

"We're not shying away from the set-piece battle, we want to take them on in that area and we want to be up-front about it. 


 

"We've a huge amount of experience and power ourselves, it's making sure that whatever way the game unfolds... if a team fills the defensive line that we're smart enough to take advantage of the space somewhere else whether that's with our kicking game or something else. 

 

"You need to have all the tools, particularly against the better teams because they're going to challenge you in different ways. 

 

"It's not just a case of trying to overpower a team, we need to use our smarts as well. 

 

"We've experienced players all across the team, 1-23, they'll hopefully add real impact as well. 

 

"That's the challenge in the later stage of competitions, semi-finals and finals, you're up against good teams and they've all had to fight to get to this point. 

 

"We know the Bulls are not going to hand it to us, we'll have to fight for everything. That's the mindset we have." 

 

Cullen went on to share his thoughts on their opponents. 

 

"They're very well organised, and a very well-coach team for starters," he said. 

 

"If you're trying to put yourself in their shoes, it's the growth, familiarity, understanding of traveling to the northern hemisphere to play, dealing with the conditions and teams, getting better all the time and you can see that in their results. 

 

"They have a lot of quality and a lot of stability, their team doesn't change that much if you look at their selections, and they're very well led by Marcell Coetzee who understands Irish rugby particularly well. 

 

"He's still a real physical presence and a huge talisman for them. The Bulls DNA is a string kicking game, setpiece, very physical and abrasive in the contact area, that's in their mindset. That's what they'll default to in big games. It's a great challenge for our guys." 

 

       

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