Pro 12 Season Preview – Leinster

Pro 12 Season Preview: Leinster

Two seasons in a row they’ve  made the final and once out right led the league on points. Two seasons in a row they’ve ended up losing in said final. Now I know Leinster in recent seasons has had bigger fish to fry in the Heineken Cup, but surely that’s got to start to get a bit annoying?

This annoyance is a privileged position for their fans to be in, a place that many other teams’ fans would love to get to, but it must be seen as a failure, despite their Heineken Cup successes, to be so dominant in a league – and yet still fail to win it.

Leinster’s squad depth is something to be admired. Their academy set up is the envy of many of the other teams in the league. The professionalism that Leinster brings to each game is to be commended but one can’t help but question how long they can continue as they are. Is there academy working well enough to produce replacement players quickly enough?

The only weakness I can really see in this Leinster team is that of the front row. Take away their first choice props and this is very much their achilles heel, something which the Ospreys ruthlessly took advantage of twice in the end of last season, and it will be the props where Leinster must look to develop new players, and afford them enough game time to get the experience needed to compete well. It will be a fine balancing act, but I’ve no doubt Leinster will manage these positions as well as they have the rest of their squad.

Again, for this season, I can see Isa Nacewa being a standout player for this side. For the past two seasons he has effectively carried this team in the Pro 12 when their Irish stars have, for the most part, been missing. His leadership capabilities and sheer individual brilliance lights up the league but it should also lend a word of caution. For one side to seemingly depend on just one player to be such an effective game breaker is a worry, and for me I think Leinster need to look beyond him for other players to spark their better performances.

I predict another season of Leinster being comfortably in the top four of the table, although not perhaps as dominant as last season. Anything but an appearance in the final I would consider to be a failure. Leinster have built themselves up a fierce reputation, but all the signs are indicating that they are more than capable of living up to it.

My players to watch: Devin Toner, Isa Nacewa, Dominic Ryan and Kevin Mclaughlin 

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8 thoughts on “Pro 12 Season Preview – Leinster

  1. Your first line is incorrect. Munster led the league in 2010-11 it’s why we played at home in Thomond rather than the RDS, other than that is is very good, unfortunately. I say that, as it’s hard to write sometihng bad about those feicing D4ers. They’re too feicing good.

  2. Gibson says:

    “Is their academy working well enough to produce replacement players quickly enough?”

    Oh yes. That will actually become a “problem “for us, as O Malley, Macken and McFadden, look to push BOD and Dorce aside. As will Madigan with Sexton. As will Croniin with Strauss. As will Toner with Cullen. As will Ryan with Jennings. McLaughlin is pushing SOB. Conway is the same with Fitz. And Carr is in the mix too. . I hope the same happens with Hagan & Ross.

    We have oodles of very talented backs and Backrows coming through. Problem is at Prop and Lock. That must be handled and escalated this season.

    “This annoyance is a privileged position for their fans to be in, a place that many other teams’ fans would love to get to, but it must be seen as a failure, despite their Heineken Cup successes, to be so dominant in a league – and yet still fail to win it.”

    Not really. We should have most of our kids out to beat O’s. Instead of XV tired, HC Winners. The kids had already won the League proper – by a mile.

    I hope we have learned our lesson there. Use half well experienced and half raw & hungry. We lacked that in the Final. Had it well won with 15 to go. Took the foot off the pedal and blew it.

    Fact is, Ospreys are a bloody good side and only had one focus. The PRO12. Truth is, if we met them in the Heino, we would eat them alive. Its two different Leinsters.

    Believe.

    P. S. Two good write-ups. Thought provoking, mixed with great insight.

    • See I dunno about that. The way the O’s were playing at the end of the season, you might still well have beaten the but they’d have given you a much bigger run for your money in the final then the Heineken. I don’t buy this “tired” XV players thing either. Sure before the final I remember loads of Leinster fans saying it wouldn’t be a problem, that you guys were a side on form and that you’d win regardless 😉

      Agree you should have stuck more with your younger players though in the Pro12, they deserved that after all the hard shifts they’d put in throughout the season.

      And diolch 🙂

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