BRIAN O’DRISCOLL IS confident that Leinster can put some patchy form behind them in time for tomorrow’s trip to face Llanelli Scarlets in pool five of the Heineken Cup.
Despite winning the opening game of their Heineken Cup defence, nobody at Leinster was satisfied with the manner of their 9-6 win over the Exeter Chiefs last weekend.
Speaking at the province’s base at UCD yesterday, O’Driscoll said that watching the game back had provided the blueprint for improvement.
“(The Exeter Chiefs game) has probably given us a bit of focus on a couple of areas that I don’t think you can take for granted.” O’Driscoll said.
“Every Monday, whether you win or lose, you always try and highlight a few areas that need improvement. We’ve probably had a few more this week than we would have liked.
“But I think we’ve worked hard at identifying them and tried to make sure, at training, that we get those areas right so it’s seamless enough when we go into the game on Saturday and we’re able to focus just on the game-plan and on the strategy rather than some of the small silly errors we’ve made.”
The veteran centre insisted however, that there was no cause for panic within the ranks.
“I don’t think it’s about doubting yourself. I think we’re very aware of what we’re capable of, but when you set high standards and you constantly try to progress year on year and you’ve had a bit of success; the pressure is constantly on you to stay with those standards.” He asserted, before admitting that that certain basics of the game the game had been “taken for granted”:
“I think we’re working hard; The guys are training hard, there’s a lot of extras going on – sometimes you take your eye off the small things and take things for granted a bit.”
With Welsh Grand Slam winners in the Scarlets back-line tomorrow, the opposition certainly won’t be one of the factors being overlooked. Certainly not when they are effectively playing for their Heineken Cup future.
However, O’Driscoll insists he and his team have the motivation to match the do-or-die scenario facing Scarlets.
“We realise there’s pressure on them, (but only) as much as there is pressure on ourselves as champions and the way we performed last year, but let’s not over-read it too much. It’s another game and it’s 15 on 15, so I don’t want to hype it up too much.”