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Schmidt seeking Leinster response after Clermont defeat

Guinness PRO12 Editor

16 Dec 2012

Leinster head coach Joe Schmidt has challenged his side to respond like the champions they are after seeing their Heineken Cup hopes dealt a big blow by a 28-21 defeat against Clermont Auvergne.

Morgan Parra's 23-point haul, added to Wesley Fofana's first-half try ensured the French giants avenged last season’s semi-final defeat to the Irish region who managed a losing bonus point thanks to Fergus McFadden’s late try.

Schmidt admitted his squad simply didn’t have the resources that were available to the big spending French side to cope with a second fixture in one week.

But with the chance to bounce back in the RaboDirect PRO12 against Ulster next Friday, the New Zealander expects his European champions to come back swinging.

"Miracles happen in sport, I guess, but mathematical long shots very seldom come into being," said Schmidt.

"I don't think we have the same depth as some of the big-spending French clubs. It's hard to take defeat two weeks in a row, with the amount of effort the players put in.

"The other challenge for champions is they always look pretty good when they are on top. It is how they come back from adversity that is the real challenge.”