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Hines insits Magners League duo can thrive

Guinness PRO12 Editor

5 Apr 2011

Nathan Hines is adamant that Magners League sides can mix it with the best in the European quarter-finals on the weekend.

There are two Magners League sides in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup. Hines' Leinster face Leicester Tigers at the Aviva Stadium, while Ulster face Northampton Saints at stadium:mk.

And the Scottish international reckons Leinster have earned their place in Europe following their performances in recent years.

"I wouldn't say we are any less of a force than Leicester," said Hines. "I'm pretty sure that our results against teams outside of the Magners League would speak for themselves."

But he insists Leinster must learn the lessons from their league defeat to Munster last weekend if they are to triumph against the Tigers.

Joe Schmidt's men had led by 11-points at the interval at Thomond Park but suffered heartbreak with a last-minute Ronan O'Gara penalty snatching a 24-23 for fierce rivals Munster.

"Leicester do what they do, and if we're not more accurate and effective than we were last weekend then we could end up on the end of the same result," added Hines.

"It's a pressure game, isn't it? They've got extremely effective forwards, a strong front five and a pretty quick and mobile back row.

"If they get any sort of ascendancy up front, then they have got Toby Flood, a good distributor, and good runners off him."

Hines has called on the Leinster pack to front-up against the Tigers and provide a solid platform for victory.

"Against Munster we lost a little bit of momentum. We were a little bit inaccurate. I got turned over by O'Gara, of all people and we didn’t run out.

"We lost a bit of shape. Just bit by bit, Munster got back into the game, got a couple of penalties that relieved a little bit of pressure and they kicked some penalties as well.

"Leicester bring their physicality every weekend. We have to fight fire with fire and on a couple of occasions we have done it this year. We've just got to make sure we bring that intensity this weekend."