“Jacques won’t have that.” How Nienaber will alter Leinster is explained by James Downey.
In the next few weeks, Nienaber will reunite with Leinster after leading the Springboks to their second consecutive World Cup.
Leinster has made a mediocre start to their URC season without their World Cup players. They lost to Glasgow in their opening match before winning big victories against the Sharks and Edinburgh.
The province have fared well in the URC in recent times, winning three of its last four renewals but they have come unstuck in Europe.
Two narrow European Cup final defeats in a row against Ronan O’Gara’s La Rochelle has un-done much of their good work throughout the last few years and, with Nienaber’s arrival, and his track record, Leinster fans will be hoping he can turn the fine margins in their favour.
Former Leinster and Munster player James Downey expressed his opinion that Nienaber’s first move should be to concentrate on strengthening Leinster’s defense during this week’s House of Rugby episode.
According to Downey, “Defense wins championships.”
“Even if you have the greatest offense on the planet, it’s invaluable if you can keep a squad out.
“And with Jacques coming in, if you look at the Glasgow game in week one, Leinster’s defence was pretty poor, again, against Edinburgh, fine for most of the game but when they make a few changes, Edinburgh come back into it.”That will not go to Jacques. He will be focusing on the players’ mentality, being merciless in the field, and refusing to let teams cross for easy scoring since defense is an attitude.”
“Win by 40 points, that’ what he’s going to want,” says Downey.
“And that can only make this Leinster team strong. Coming into these big game fixtures then that they’ve lost by one score (he’ll change that.)”
Meanwhile, as they await the arrival of Nienaber, former backrow Sean O’Brien is in charge and the Tullow man is adamant that, for the time being, it’s his way rather than the Springboks’ way.
This week, O’Brien declared, “We are definitely not defending like the Springboks do.”
I have explicitly said that to the boys.
This weekend, Leinster will travel to play the Dragons on the road as part of their URC campaign.