Schmidt pleased with 'perfect start'
October 9, 2010
Leinster hooker Richardt Strauss runs in to score one of his side's five tries © Getty Images
Leinster boss Joe Schmidt has hailed his side's 38-22 win over Racing Metro at the RDS as the 'perfect start' to their Heineken Cup campaign.
The 2009 champions cast aside their recent troubles in Dublin, racking up a bonus-point against their high-flying French rivals. Next weekend they travel to face Saracens at the home of English football, Wembley, and their Kiwi coach is keen to get a head-start on their preparations.
"It's the perfect start," he said. "It is such a tough pool that you can be out just as quickly. Come Monday, the reality is we have to start again. We will take a look at the Clermont Auvergne v Saracens game and hopefully find a couple of chinks in the armour for next week's game at Wembley.
"I thought we converted a few chances to keep the gap between us and Racing, because they came back from almost 20 points down last week [against Toulouse] and we were conscious we couldn't let them back into the game. They came close to doing it, so it was good to see the composure from the guys to pull away again."
Racing coach Simon Mannix admitted his disappointment with their lack of accuracy and called for them to look after the ball more carefully when they come up against Saracens and Clermont Auvergne in coming rounds.
"At 26-19 we felt we were in the game. We had control of the ball. We kicked our goals, scored a nice try but we need more than that," he said. "It is a big lesson to take out of it. We have to control the ball better than we did today.
"I feel we contributed to the game, contributed probably more than half the points easily for Leinster which is always nice. [We made] a lot of mistakes and when you make that many mistakes against a quality opposition, you have to pay.
"We are here to play the competition and we want to be part of it as one of the best teams in Europe. That's one of Leinster's best performances today and we drew that today. We know we are capable of better, much better and we know we have to improve. If we want to try and get out of the pool we are going to have to improve really quick."
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