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Leinster count cost of ‘demoliton derby’

Guinness PRO12 Editor

13 May 2011

Brian O’Driscoll gave Leinster coach Joe Schmidt a few worries ahead of next weekend’s Heineken Cup final when he limped out of his side’s Magners League semi-final victory over Ulster with a knee injury.

O’Driscoll was one of four Leinster players who picked up injuries in the 18-3 triumph at RDS that home coach Joe Schmidt described as a “demolition derby”.

“There were bodies littered all over the field at times. It was a really good, competitive match and it was superb preparation for the Heineken Cup final clash with Northampton Saints,” said Schmidt.

“Brian came off with a knee problem that was uncomfortable rather than unplayable. We’ll have to see how it settles down over the weekend and then assess him, and the others, on Monday.

“It’s not ideal because we want to have a good week of training ahead of the game against Saints. But it’s great to have made another final.

“We would love to be at home in the Magners League Grand Final, but we what better way to finish the season than to have a shot at beating Munster at Thomond Park.”

As well as O’Driscoll, Schmidt saw Irish international prop Mike Ross leave with a stinger injury to his left shoulder, scrum half Isaac Boss come off with a hamstring strain and hooker Richardt Strauss limp away with a bruised hip. Magners Man of the Match Sean O’Brien also had to have four stitches in a cut above his left eye.

Leinster will meet the winners of the second Magners League semi-finals, between Munster and reigning champions the Ospreys in Limerick on Saturday, in the Grand Final on 28 May.

It is their second Grand Final in succession having won the right to host last year’s inaugural event in Dublin, a game they lost to the Ospreys.