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Wayne Pivac Praises Robbie Henshaw As He Tries To Explain Semi-Final Disappointment

Sean McMahon reporting from the Aviva Stadium. 

Ken Owens, Tadhg Beirne and head coach Wayne Pivac marched into the media conference room about 30 minutes after the full-time whistle and immediately you knew they would prefer to be anywhere else.

The reasons for the 22-point margin of defeat is what the trio did their best to explain and it could have been a lot worse if it wasn’t for Beirne’s consolation try two minutes from time or for Scott Fardy’s disallowed try in the second half.

Ultimately, Leinster dominated territory and possession which limited any potential for Scarlets to generate any momentum on the scoreboard.

It was one of the areas where Pivac stated his side were inferior and he also revealed that Leinster’s clinical play in Scarlets 22′ was a major difference between the two sides.

“The territory battle was one [area] and as I said, once they get in the 22 they’re very, very clinical, very hard to stop,” Pivac said.

“They looked after the ball really well and when you get a roll on like that, it’s very hard to stop but we probably didn’t help ourselves, we worked very hard to turn ball over in our 22 and put in a little kick in behind rather than on another day we would go long downtown and just relieve pressure.”

Although Pivac admits that the try from Fergus McFadden on the stroke of halftime didn’t affect the outcome of the game, he has a sour taste in his mouth due to the build-up to Leinster’s try in crucial juncture of the match.

“…If we would have gone in at halftime at 17-9, I would have been reasonably pleased…it didn’t help with the knock on that wasn’t awarded and then I think we were penalised rather than getting a scrum put in and they scored from it right on halftime.

“So it made it difficult but it certainly didn’t affect the outcome at the end of the day.”

Pivac was also asked about Robbie Henshaw’s performance who made his playing return since picking up an injury against Italy in the Six Nations and he described the Leinster man’s display as “superb”.

“Yeah it certainly didn’t look like he had been out for the period of time he had, I thought he played very well. Very strong carrying as Ken mentioned, got them go forward, I thought he had a superb game.”

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email [email protected] or on Twitter