Heineken Cup: Joe Schmidt admits Leinster need a 'miracle' to reach the quarters

Last Updated: 16/12/12 7:37am

  • Share:
Leinster coach Joe Schmidt: We need a miracle

Leinster coach Joe Schmidt: We need a miracle

Sky Bet

Leinster coach Joe Schmidt admits they need a "miracle" to make the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup.

The reigning champions were beaten 28-21 by Clermont in Dublin, making it back-to-back defeats to the French giants who have booked their spot in the quarter-finals.

Leinster can still reach the last eight but need an unlikely sequence of results to go their way.

"Miracles happen in sport, I guess, but mathematical long shots very seldom come into being," admitted the New Zealander.

"I don't think we have the same depth as some of the big-spending French clubs. It's hard to take defeat two weeks in a row, with the amount of effort the players put in.

"The other challenge for champions is they always look pretty good when they are on top. It is how they come back from adversity that is the real challenge."

Clermont head coach Vern Cotter is determined that this will finally be their year in the competition, having suffered semi-final heartbreak to Leinster last year.

Speaking after another pulsating clash, Cotter said: "We intend to go the whole way. It's a game of rugby - it doesn't always go the way we want, but our intention is to go as far as we can.

"Last year we lost a semi-final in Bordeaux. We didn't get a crack at the final. We would like to get there and see if we can get over the line and take the title. That is our firm intention."

Although Clermont celebrated with their fans in the stadium after ending a run of five defeats on Irish soil over a five-year span, Cotter will keep his players' feet on the ground.

"All the criteria that is important for a top performance - technical, tactical, physical, psychological - I thought we were present in all those sectors," he added. "Without getting too carried away, we are reasonably happy."

  • Share:


Heineken Cup Round 4

John Mitchell: French mauling for Sale Sharks boss

Mitchell: What we deserved

John Mitchell admitted Sale had not been good enough after they slumped to a 62-0 Heineken Cup defeat at Toulon.

Brad Barritt of Saracens steps inside Conor Murray of Munster

McCall: A coming of age for us

Saracens boss Mark McCall paid tribute to his side after they claimed a crucial 19-13 Heineken Cup victory over Munster.

Saracens scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth spins out a pass

Gutsy win puts Sarries on top

Saracens moved to the top of Heineken Cup Pool 1 after battling to a 19-13 victory over Munster at Vicarage Road.

Most Popular


Henry: Costa crossed the line

Henry: Costa crossed the line

Sky Sports pundits Thierry Henry and Jamie Redknapp feel Diego Costa crossed the line in Chelsea's win over Liverpool.

Can Brady win another ring?

Can Brady win another ring?

Ten years ago Tom Brady won his third Super Bowl. Can he finally claim his fourth by beating the Seahawks on Sunday?

'Odegaard will star'

'Odegaard will star'

Guillem Balague believes Martin Odegaard will be a top star at Real Madrid, and Lucas Silva will be thrown into action.