Planet Rugby

It turned into a "circus" - O'Connor

18th January 2014 08:36

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Jimmy Gopperth L of Leinster is held up v Ospreys

Ring Master: Jimmy Gopperth

Leinster head coach Matt O'Connor was happy with his side's bonus-point win over the Ospreys on Friday, despite the contest turning into a "circus."

The home side ran out easy winners against the 14-man Ospreys, who lost lock Ian Evans to a red card for stamping in the 20th minute.

A spate of injuries further hampered the Welsh visitors with both Ospreys hookers going off, resulting a in period of uncontested scrums. Leinster were also awarded two penalties tries from mauls.

"The result did (go the way we wanted). There wasn't too much disappointment about the performance. Once the red card was given it turned into a little bit of a circus," said O'Connor.

"The circus didn't impact on our ability to score tries, but it certainly changed the intensity of the contest and took away a bit of the structure we were trying to bring into the game, but you can't do much about that.

"There was a red card, there were uncontested scrums, there was 14 blokes on the field, there were the penalty tries...

"It was all over the show, but I think the scheduling of it has to be looked at.

"The five-day turnaround doesn't help in relation to professional athletes performing and preparing as well as they can for a game of that magnitude."

Ospreys head coach Steve Tandy admitted that Evans' dismissal was a decisive incident, but was unsure whether French referee Romain Poite made the correct decision.

"We're not sure, like a lot of observers. Perhaps in some ways as a forward pack, we were reckless there in terms of going forward and tried to deal with something," he said.

"It has taken a lot of replays (with the TMO), five or six, to make a decision and I don't know if it was that clear and obvious. It was clearly a swing in terms of the game and momentum

"We were (in the game). I thought Leinster were dangerous from the off, though, great tempo and they did have us stretched. We were scrambling around, but created a couple of good moments.

"We often have those ding-dong moments with Leinster where we hang in there and then as the game goes on they capitalise. And a few injuries as well, what could go wrong, did go wrong. We can't take away from the fact we were playing a quality side and they put us to the sword."

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