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Schmidt wants Leinster to be more clinical

Guinness PRO12 Editor

12 Dec 2011

Leinster head coach Joe Schmidt was far from cock-a-hoop despite watching his side win 18-13 in their Heineken Cup clash at Bath on Sunday.


Leinster, who currently sit top of the RaboDirect PRO12 table, now look all but guaranteed to go through in Pool 3 after a hard-fought affair at the Rec.

But the Irishmen had to rely on the boot of man-of-the-match Jonathan Sexton to grind out the victory while Matt Banahan ran in the only try of the game for Bath.

And Schmidt has called on his side to be more ruthless in their opponents’ 22 if they want to progress further in the competitionafter watching Sean O’Brien blow a four-on-one overlap in the second half.

“There were a couple of chances that really looked gilt-edged that we managed to make look very, very difficult; so difficult that we couldn’t get the ball over the line,” Schmidt told the Irish Times.

“We want to be a lot more accurate, a lot more aware of what everyone else is doing around us to make sure we link up and finish opportunities.

“But because against a quality team it’s that difficult to create opportunities the last thing you want to do is butcher them like we did today.

“I thought our set-piece was pretty sound, Our defence was sound enough, apart from a couple of times we got a little bit tight or were a bit slow to get our full alignment.”

But overall against a Bath outfit that pushed them right to the limit Schmidt conceded that he would take a victory at all costs ahead of their return to the Aviva Stadium for the rematch next weekend.

“There are a lot of things that weren’t too far off right but the margins are so narrow in these games that if you don’t get it dead right against a good team they just don’t give you breathing space. We almost suffocated ourselves at times today,” he added.

“There is always something I want here or there. But we’re delighted with the result, and with respect to Bath they certainly showed what they are capable of.”