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Leinster coach Leo Cullen has pinpointed his side’s indiscipline as pivotal to their 38-19 defeat to the Cheetahs in their Pro14 clash in Bloemfontein.
The Irish province were overrun by their South African opponents in Toyota Stadium, with the hosts converting scores from six of ten penalties, which put them virtually out of sight at 31-5 ahead heading into the final quarter; a first-half yellow-card for James Tracy contributing to that downfall.
Speaking post match, Cullen said: "The Cheetahs came at us hard and letting them build that lead we made life more difficult for ourselves than we needed to.
"Giving away a cheap penalty for offside, one for blocking, another for not rolling away in a tackle so, it becomes three, six, nine, 12.
"We just didn’t manage the ball particularly well, we were a little bit off and left ourselves with way too much to do.
"Losing James Tracy to the bin at the start of the second half, leaking another try and being down to 14-men, so clearly it was the penalty count that got us in trouble.”
Leinster captain Isa Nacewa also left the field injured after just a quarter of an hour of the tie and now looks set to miss his team’s home clash with Edinburgh next weekend.
"He was examined and is unlikely to turnaround next week because of his calf injury,” said Nacewa.
"We will just have a look again and get to undergo a scan when we get home, so he doesn’t look like he will be available next week.
"He’s okay, he’s got a smile on his face away. He’s just got to focus now on getting back now, getting recovered and starting the rehab process."
Image: Gerhard Steenkamp
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