S CRUISE Wasps stung as they feel the power of the cham­pi­ons in eight-try blitz

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - GAELIC GAMES - BY MICHAEL SCULLY

knock­ing on Cronin’s pass.

Luke Mcgrath scored Le­in­ster’s sec­ond try and Johnny Sex­ton con­verted for a 14-3 half-time lead.

And within a minute of the restart that ad­van­tage had been ex­tended fur­ther with Lowe’s scin­til­lat­ing slalom run from near half-way to the try-line.

The tries were ham­mer blows to Wasps – and typical of Le­in­ster’s modus operandi last sea­son, when they reg­u­larly scored just be­fore and af­ter the in­ter­val to kill teams off.

The in­evitable fourth try bonus point came in the 52nd minute when Tadhg Fur­long and the mag­nif­i­cent Lowe com­bined to re­lease scorer Mcgrath.

Lowe then scored a de­served sec­ond try – his sec­ond brace in the space of six days – be­fore Jor­dan Lar­mour and Jack Mcgrath got in on the act.

Ear­lier, Le­in­ster grabbed a sixth minute lead when hooker Cronin raced through the wideopen Wasps’ cover, and Sex­ton con­verted.

RO­NAN O’gara fears too much ex­pec­ta­tion is be­ing placed on the young shoul­ders of Joey Carbery.The young out-half makes his Cham­pi­ons Cup de­but for Mun­ster at Sandy Park to­day in what is a re­ally dif­fi­cult start to their cam­paign.The per­for­mance of the 22-year-old (inset) – a high-pro­file sum­mer sign­ing from Le­in­ster – could be key to the province adding an­other glory day to their Euro­pean roll of hon­our.O’gara (above) said: “He’s tal­ented. Ev­ery­one in Mun­ster ap­pre­ci­ates what a classy player he is.“But peo­ple are nearly ex­pect­ing Joey to do some­thing ev­ery time he gets the ball – and even Beau­den Bar­rett doesn’t do that.“Peo­ple for­get the guy isn’t 26, he’s 22. It’s a big dif­fer­ence ma­tu­rity-wise, game ex­pe­ri­ence, game man­age­ment.“His growth will be ac­cel­er­ated by play­ing in games like this. But it’ll be a bit of a step up from what he faced be­fore.“You get bet­ter if you get min­utes in that po­si­tion. It hap­pens prob­a­bly a lit­tle bit quicker at Cham­pi­ons Cup level and it’s im­por­tant he gets sup­port.”Re­mark­ably this is the first time in 21 years O’gara will have no club in­volve­ment as a player or coach in the com­pe­ti­tion.Now ply­ing his trade with Cru­saders in New Zealand, he will be in the Vir­gin Me­dia stu­dio to­day – but cov­er­ing the Bath v Toulouse game be­fore Mun­ster’s crunch clash in Ex­eter.He smiled: “It’s great now to not have any in­volve­ment. I love the Heineken

Cup, any­one around my age has great mem­o­ries of the com­pe­ti­tion.”The Cork­man, of course, pro­vided plenty of those mem­o­ries him­self – from the Mir­a­cle Matches at Thomond Park to when he talked the talk ahead of the 2006 cam­paign by claim­ing the Pre­mier­ship clubs were over-hyped.Days later he stepped up to beat Le­ices­ter with a last-gasp penalty from half-way at Welford Road. Mun­ster ended that sea­son as cham­pi­ons for the first time.But the task fac­ing the present day Reds looks more dif­fi­cult. Ex­eter have six wins from six league games, with 29 points ac­crued from a pos­si­ble 30.Sandy Park is their fortress and Mun­ster must play there with­out Conor Mur­ray.“It’s a tough ask,” said O’gara. “But it’s not a bad mind­set for Mun­ster, ei­ther.“They have to try to get some­thing out of it. But what’s cru­cial is that it doesn’t end Ex­eter five points, Mun­ster zero points.“It’s a big blow to lose Conor and Chris Far­rell. But the pack will be strong, that’s where games are won and there were a lot of pos­i­tives from the Le­in­ster game in terms of the scrum and maul.“Ex­eter are very good and it will be in­ter­est­ing to see if they can bring their do­mes­tic form into Europe.”The Reds’ more in­ci­sive and ad­ven­tur­ous at­tack was on show in the loss to Le­in­ster and O’gara ap­proves.He said: “They’re play­ing more ball, which was needed.“You’ve got to get Earlsy (Keith Earls) on the ball, he’s so dan­ger­ous. He just needs more ac­tions in the game.”

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