Published: 17:24 | 23/11/20

Cullen happy to overcome Cardiff

Leo Cullen admitted Leinster struggled at times during their 40-5 win over Cardiff in the Guinness PRO14.

While the scoreline ended in Leinster's favour, the reigning champions were made to work hard for their bonus point victory by a dogged Welsh side.

Leinster got off to the perfect start when Dave Kearney crossed over for the first try of the match inside the opening minute with Jimmy O'Brien adding a second 13 minutes later.

However, Cardiff managed to close the gap when Aled Summerhill went over in the corner 17th minute and they continued to cause their hosts problems, resulting in some handling errors.

Fortunately for the Blues they managed to keep Cardiff at bay and they added a third try just before half time when James Tracy crashed over, while Scott Penny secured the bonus point in the 66th minute. Penny got his second four minutes later with Michael Silvester crossing over in the 77th minute to give a flattering look to the scoreline.

"I thought the guys started the game really well, Dave Kearney got in for a try in the first minute of the game so there was a good intent in terms of our play, then Jimmy O'Brien got a very good individual try but the game got a bit scrappy after that. I thought Cardiff dug in well, they tried to take us to the edges and you could see from the try they scored the drive and the pace that they have. They were a constant threat, particularly in the first half," Cullen told eir sport.   

"We got a try just on half time and even though we got over the try line a few times we struggled and lack a little bit of accuracy in some of our play. But overall we are happy with the win and it's another bonus point so we can move onto the next challenge which is Scarlets away.

"Overall we are pleased, but as we talked about beforehand, Cardiff will go aggressive at the ruck and look for those turnover opportunities and they got them a couple of times during the game. We probably tried our luck once or twice, they got in behind us a few times, Cardiff were the ones forcing the pass but the conditions were quite greasy out there so we will take the win and move on."

The international action coupled with a number of injuries has meant Cullen has had to use his squad and he believes the competition for places will be important as they head into a busy period.

"I think overall a lot of guys put their hand up, which is pleasing, the competition is going to be hugely important for us because we have such a big block of games coming up. We have Scarlets this weekend and then this group will have a break for a week, which will see the completion of the autumn series of internationals. We will see where everyone is and make some assessments for the games post that period," he added.

Image: Sportsfile

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