Champions Cup: Leo Cullen praises Leinster for ‘digging themselves out of a hole’ against Racing 92

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen credited his players for finding a way to “dig themselves” out of a hole during their Champions Cup clash with Racing 92.

Cullen’s men scored 29 unanswered points to triumph over the French side 36-10 at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

The Irish outfit was 10-7 down early in the second half and managed to turn the tide through Hugo Keenan and Jimmy O’Brien braces while Josh van der Flier and skipper Garry Ringrose added tries of their own.

Margin felt smaller

The coach felt it was not a 26-point win and credited both teams for their performances.

“You’ve got to be very respectful, it definitely didn’t feel like a 26-point win,” Cullen said.

“We had some opportunities early, just snatching at things, not quite accurate enough, little bit slow in some of our ruck arrivals. Racing, to their credit, were very brave defensively.

“They’re a constant threat as well. The pace that they have, some of the ball players they have, you just can’t switch off for a second.

“Credit to our guys, I thought the composure was good. We stuck to the basics, started carrying a bit better and started to recycle and move around and eventually we started to wear them down.”

A marker to fall back on

Cullen believes this game is a good marker for Leinster to draw on when they need to find a way to get back into a game.

“It’s a good reminder for us, to look back on this game and say, ‘let’s remember, start the game, how do we get into the game, etc’,” he said.

“If you find yourself in a hole, credit to the players, they managed to dig themselves out of it and finish the game strongly which is good.”

Racing director of rugby Laurent Travers enjoyed 65 minutes of his team’s performance but felt they were punished by Leinster when their intensity dropped.

“There were 65 minutes of a good level from us, where we made Leinster doubt themselves,” he said.

“The players understood what needed to be done in terms of commitment and strategy. But the very highest level is 80 minutes of very high intensity and we only had 65.”