Chris Cusiter believes Scotland should line up against France at Murrayfield next weekend with plenty of confidence after their win away to Italy last week.
Leinster 28 - 25 Glasgow
SCORERS: Leinster: Tries: N Reid, D Fanning, R Ruddock. Cons: I Madigan (2). Pens: Madigan (3). Glasgow: Tries: R Vernon (2), N Matawalu. Cons: F Russell (2). Pens: F Russell (2).
At Royal Dublin Showground
Referee: N Owens
The Glasgow Warriors’ skipper was one of a number of internationals to impress in their narrow defeat by Leinster in Dublin on Saturday night.
Winger Tommy Seymour and locks Tim Swinson and Jonny Gray also played very well and, despite leaving with just a losing bonus point, Cusiter was delighted with the endeavour his side displayed.
He said: “We’re really disappointed and frustrated but it’s tough to leave with just one point. If we had got a try at the end it would have been the fourth try and we would have won the game.
“At the same time, I’m happy with the performance – particularly the first 50 minutes or so. We just couldn’t piece some of it together in the last 30 minutes. I’m proud of the effort but we needed that next step to win over here which we’ve been trying to do for a while,” added the scrum-half.
After Scotland proved many doubters wrong with a dynamic win in Rome and France stuttered badly against Wales, Cusiter thinks there is nothing to fear from Philippe Saint- André’s side at the weekend.
Cusiter said: “That win was so badly needed after the England game. We went from one of the lowest points in our careers to one of the highest, the way we sneaked that win over in Italy. We needed it and I’m really looking forward to getting back into camp. It has given us a lift and it’s amazing how a change of mindset can affect everything.
“We played some really good rugby in Italy, probably the best we’ve played and we scored some good tries and there are a lot of things to be positive about. We were under pressure, getting criticism from all corners and rightly so after the England game. So to get a win in Italy, a tough place to go, was massive and I think we can look forward with a lot of optimism.”
Despite being within a converted try of beating Leinster after two tries by Richie Vernon and a third by Niko Matawalu, Warriors coach Gregor Townsend backed the decision to kick a late penalty rather than throw caution to the wind and aim for the victory. “There was five minutes to go to get back down there – whether it was to score a try or to score a penalty.
“There was always a risk if you go to touch and don’t score a try from that lineout drive. Nigel Owens could award Leinster a penalty to deny the bonus point.
“There was still plenty of time to get down there and we did get down there. I think we were on the edge of their 22 at the end,” added Townsend.
The former Scotland stand-off praised the impact his international stars had but was left wondering what might have been. He said: “Our international lads were outstanding
“Tim Swinson was excellent. I think our whole forward pack played very well.
“Chris Cusiter, our captain, fitted in very well. He took space himself a couple of times and he really got the backline going so I was pleased with him. Tommy Seymour did really well too and he kept infield very well leading up to our first try. It was very pleasing in that regard,” added Townsend.
And he particularly enjoyed seeing full-back Peter Murchie return from a nightmare five-month lay-off with a dislocated shoulder.
“It was great to see Peter back there. He’s missed four or five months now. He took a couple of hits and it was a swirling wind tonight, so it was a bit tough for the guys in back-field coverage.
“But it was great that he got that hit out after so long away from the game and he’ll probably get a run out at club level in the next few weeks too,” Townsend added.
Leinster: Kirchner; Fanning, McFadden, Reid, Coghlan-Murray (Hudson 75); Madigan, Reddan (Boss 51); McGrath (Bent 72), Cronin (Strauss 51), Moore (Ross 51); Cullen, McCarthy; Ruddock, Jennings (Ryan 68), Murphy.
Glasgow: Murchie; Seymour (Jones 63), Vernon (Bennett 73), Russell, Matawalu; Jackson, Cusiter (Pyrgos 68); Reid (Yanuyanutawa 51), MacArthur (Brown 68), Kalman (Welsh 51); Swinson, Gray; Eddie, Harley (Holmes 63), Strauss (Nakarawa 63).