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Skipper Shane sees tight tussle ahead

Guinness PRO12 Editor

28 May 2010

Leinster skipper Shane Jennings expects Saturday’s Grand Final against the Ospreys to be as tight and as tense as they come.

The tenacious openside leads the side in the absence of Leo Cullen as the Dubliners go in search of their seventh-straight win over the Welsh region.

But while history might suggest that Leinster should be heavy favourites for the season decider, Jennings says he believes there will be little between the two sides when they do battle at the RDS.

“It’s a cup final so I can see it being very, very tight,” said Jennings.

“Every time we play them it’s always a very tough game, whether it’s over in Wales or here in Dublin.

“Over the years, it’s always been very close and we’re expecting the same this weekend.

“But past games and past records don’t really count for much in a one-off game like this. There’s two good teams and, hopefully, we’ll produce a good final.”

Two victories over the Ospreys in the regular 2009/10 season helped Leinster secure top spot at the end of 18 matches but, under the new Play-Off system, that alone isn’t enough to guarantee Magners League glory.

The introduction of a Grand Final means Leinster now have one last game to win before they can celebrate a third Celtic crown.

But while Jennings joked that his side would much rather have the title wrapped up under the old rules, the Ireland flanker says he is another big fan of the Play-Offs.

“It’s terrible! Lat year we probably would have loved it; this year we hate it!” added Jennings.

“The Play-Offs make things exciting. Teams like the Ospreys and Leinster aspire to big days out for the fans and the club. It’s another big occasion for both teams and we’ll be trying our best to secure that silverware.

“It’s a final so there is a bit of added pressure…both teams won’t want to make mistakes.”