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Missed tackles Leinster’s major problem

Guinness PRO12 Editor

28 Sep 2010

Leinster boss Joe Schmidt has highlighted missed tackles as the major contributing factor behind his side’s defeat to Edinburgh.

The Dubliners were beaten 32-24 at Murrayfield on Friday night as they slipped to their third reverse in four games.

But while outsiders are searching for deeper reasons for Leinster’s poor start to the season, new coach Schmidt has a far simpler explanation.

"We haven't done anything differently other than miss tackles," said Schmidt, who took over from Michael Cheika this summer.

"I think our actual systems errors have been quite low, we've just missed one-on-ones. I think guys will put their hands up and say that we need to do better on our one-on-ones.

"Tackle misses are unforgivable at this level. Once you let a guy who's an effective ball carrier through a half-tackle or through a couple of tackles and then you're in trouble, you're chasing."

Leinster’s next challenge is a mighty one as they prepare to face current league leaders Munster in what promises to be a truly outstanding encounter.

The first competitive match at the new Aviva Stadium is set to be watched by the largest crowd in Magners League history with close to 50,000 expected to be in attendance.

And with the size of the occasion added to an intense rivalry, Schmidt is fully aware of the need for a win this weekend.

Much has been made of Munster’s fine start to the season but it’s Leinster who have won the last four encounters between the two sides and Schmidt is confident his charges can make it five in a row, with whatevcer game plan they chose to employ.

"To be honest we haven’t really played a hell of a game plan," added Schmidt.

"We have probably struggled a bit for a platform and haven’t really created too much with the ball which is disappointing and it’s something we’d like to turn around.

"So if we can get the platform we’ll certainly look to play, but it’ll probably be relatively simple because we will have changes again.

"I know that Munster are formidable but I also know we had two relatively comfortable wins over them when I was over with Clermont Auvergne and these guys (at Leinster) are every bit as good.

"Maybe just at this stage it's about getting them to believe that."