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‘We are disappointed with how the tournament ended for us last year’

IF YOU Were being to listen to every rugby podcast, hear the words of each pundit and read each newspaper preview, you wouldn’t bother tuning in tonight. The end result has already been declared.

Leinster, getting outplayed Munster in their yard final week, now journey to Connacht’s. It is the to start with-leg of the spherical of 16 Champions Cup tie. To say Leinster are favourites is like a bookmaker in biblical instances suggesting he fancied Goliath to defeat the small chap with a sling in his hand.

For Leo Cullen, mentor of the modern-day-working day Goliath, inspiration is straightforward and it stems from the point his group have been waiting around four several years to incorporate a fifth star to their jersey, slipping shy to Saracens (2 times) and La Rochelle in the several years due to the fact.

“There’s the emotional attachment to the tournament that we hope our lads have,” Cullen explained.

“It’s sturdy. We had been unhappy with how the tournament finished previous calendar year.

“Sometimes you want to just solid your head again to that area which allows construct some of that emotional relationship to the event. We’re into knockout rugby and in excess of the many years it will come down to the best of margins — a scrum penalty, a missed ruck, a maul, a ball dropped more than the line — moments that stick in my thoughts endlessly additional exactly where we’ve got the victory.

leo-cullen
Sunny outlook: Cullen is aiming for the sky.


Supply: Bryan Keane/INPHO

“Like that Wesley Fofana knock on over the tryline in opposition to Clermont in the semi-closing.

“It’s generating positive we get all individuals bits correct in these knockout video games since you by no means know what may appear back to haunt you.

“These matters continue to be in your mind for a prolonged, very long time.”

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The reminiscences of their previous journey to Galway are contemporary in their brain provided how it only transpired a pair of months in the past. An early purple card changed the tone of that match. Connacht rallied for 50 minutes but eventually ran out of steam. Nonetheless, the costume rehearsal taught Cullen a thing.

“It was quite frenetic at the start of the game a few of months back so I imagine it will be a little something very similar. It’s just who can hold management of the video game. That will be the large matter, creating certain that we’re wonderful and quiet and collected underneath the strain that Connacht will deliver to the game. We have a whole lot of quite seasoned guys in the group.

“We’ll see what the problems seem like on the working day for the reason that usually that performs this kind of a substantial part in a match down there, but I believe the forecast is not much too bad tomorrow.”