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SEAN O’BRIEN PRODUCED a dominant performance as Leinster secured an impressive 19-9 victory over Ospreys in the Heineken Cup this evening.
O’Brien was awarded the man-of-the-match honour after he inspired his side to victory, and also spoke to Sky Sports’ Will Greenwood afterwards.
He admitted this Leinster team was taking “time to gel,” explaining: “You spoke about the blue wall coming off the line, that’s probably a thing of Matt wanting us to come off a little bit harder than we had been previously.
“The Heineken Cup is always something we want to win every year,” he added.
The 26-year-old explained how Leinster were especially keen to put right their disappointing group stage exit last season.
“After last year [in the Heineken Cup], we’re a little bit sore about certain things — we want to put that right.
“There is a very good balance among players in the side. We said tonight to just trust our system and set out not to be ill-disciplined as often as we could. I know we gave away a few [infringements], but overall it worked for us.”
On the subject of the departed Johnny Sexton, O’Brien said that Leinster “have to move on,” also explaining that Jimmy Gopperth should have no problem filling the fly-half’s shoes if he continues to perform as he did tonight.
“Jimmy’s a very smart player and he knows how to control a game,” he said.
“He kicks, he’s good hands and he’s strong in attack. He’s not afraid to have a go. He has that confidence and he’s definitely added to our squad this year.”
O’Brien’s teammate Jamie Heaslip, meanwhile, added that “a lot of work was put into that performance” and claimed Leinster had won the “attritional war”.
He continued: “Last week, we got taught a lesson by Munster as regards getting first to the breakdown. We know quick ball wins games and we gave our backline quick ball and I think we caused some damage.
“But the Ospreys just kept coming and coming, and I think the game could have gone either way.”