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Schmidt sends rallying cry to depleted Leinster squad

Guinness PRO12 Editor

19 Sep 2011

Head coach Joe Schmidt is challenging his youthful squad to stand up and be counted after Leinster lost their 28-match winning streak at the RDS against Glasgow on Saturday.

Leinster suffered a narrow 23-19 defeat against Sean Lineen’s Warriors, with full-back Isa Nacewa kicking 14 points to add to Ian Madigan’s first-half try.

The loss signalled the end of an impressive winning run at their home stadium and Schmidt is facing a severe shortage of man power ahead of next Saturday’s RaboDirect Pro12 clash with Scarlets.

With their big-hitters pre-occupied with the Word Cup in New Zealand and a mounting injury-list among their remaining squad, Schmidt will be taking a threadbare squad to south Wales.

Fly-half Matt Berquist, flanker Dominic Ryan and second row Kevin McLaughlin all remain sidelined, and the Kiwi coach insists his players’ lack of experience on the pitch meant naïve errors crept into Leinster’s approach during the rare defeat on home soil.

"We're 23 men down and counting,” said Schmidt.

“It’s testing the depth and we’re just going to have to delve a bit deeper and find some more players from the academy to fill some spots.

"We are trying to get some sort of balance between those who are learning and our experienced men.

“There’s a lot of frustration. You tend to learn from your hard knocks more than you do from your good games.

"We have such a young side out there at the moment. We are making obvious errors."