Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Leinster got their Heineken Cup campaign off to a successful start on Saturday afternoon as they notched up a 27-16 bonus point win over Edinburgh at Murrayfield.
Australian Rocky Elsom, who was playing in his first ever Heineken Cup match, picked up the Heineken Man of the Match award, in part due to his fine solo try. Beating the tackles was the first step, but the speed he showed to pull away and keep the lead was impressive.
Center Brian ODriscoll, whos been below par in the past year or so, looked to come back to form as he sparked the midfield with typical BOD style runs, and himself got on the end of a nice break from Felipe Contepomi. The try itself was fuelled with controversy though as it looked to have come from an earlier forward pass.
The good news for Leinster fans is that ODriscoll showed a few moments of pure class, the type of which were seeing from the man once hailed as the best center in the world. Importantly, hes looking in good shape too.
I've lost a few pounds. I was too, not muscle bound, but I was too heavy last year. I was carrying a bit but I was probably eating the weights a bit more too. I've come down the guts of a stone."
"I feel quick, I definitely feel quicker than last year, but 80 minutes is a long time to carry around an extra stone, if you look at it that way. I've worked on that side of things a lot more, I've worked on being able to make it through 80 minutes. I used to struggle, after 65-70 it used to start getting to me. Now I'm still struggling at times in games but I'm finishing strong, which is important."
It was an admirable performance by Edinburgh to stay within reach, but the experience and star quality of the Leinster side got them through for a comfortable start to the fascinating Heineken Cup.