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Strauss not underestimating Aironi challenge

Guinness PRO12 Editor

1 Mar 2012

Fly-half Jason Tovey

Leinster hooker Richardt Strauss is expecting an Aironi backlash when the RaboDirect PRO12 leaders take on the bottom-of-the-table Italians on Friday.


Aironi lost in heartbreaking circumstances to Newport-Gwent Dragons last Sunday as a late penalty try and Lewis Robling conversion meant they lost 10-9 in front of their home fans.

A day before Leinster’s 12-match winning run in the league was interrupted by Glasgow Warriors as Strauss and company had to settle for a 10-10 draw, earned by Isa Nacewa’s 71st minute penalty.   

And knowing the set piece let them down in terrible conditions at Firhill, Strauss has warned his team mates they must improve if they want to come out on top at the Stadio Zaffanella.

“Aironi’s always going to be a physical, tough, game,” said the South-African born Strauss. “They’re a typical Italian side who were turned around in the last couple of minutes this weekend so obviously they’re going to be really up for it.

“Obviously being league leaders they will definitely come out for us this weekend.

“I think we did quite well in the end to get the draw (in Glasgow), it’s not the worst result for us.

“Obviously we are disappointed at not coming away with the win but way we pulled it back wasn’t the worst thing in the world.

“We expected it to be a wet and muddy day and all the stuff didn’t go as planned, particularly the lineouts, which weren’t good at all.

“That’s one thing we have to work on this week and get right before Friday.”