Pat Leach: Leinster a massive threat, with or without BOD
8:02am Thursday 31st October 2013 in Sport
THE LAST time that the legendary Brian O'Driscoll lined up against Newport Gwent Dragons his opposite number was Rory Sidey.
The Australian, who now plays for Melbourne Rebels, joined a select bunch on that cold night at the Royal Dublin Society on November 29, 2008.
Just three other Dragons have locked horns with the great Leinster, Ireland and Lions outside centre – Paul Emerick (May 3, 2008), Rhodri Gomer Davies ( May 8, 2008) and Percy Montgomery (May 14, 2004 and October 1, 2004).
Pat Leach won't extend that list tomorrow evening as O'Driscoll is preparing for the autumn internationals but he still expects a stern test.
That view is backed up by the stats with Leinster heading to Rodney Parade in the RaboDirect Pro12 on a six-match winning streak against the Dragons.
"They are a great team and it's a big challenge," said the 28-year-old from Colwyn Bay, who could be faced by former Australia star Lote Tuqiri.
"They've got a great squad even when they are missing all of their internationals.
"It's always quite nice when you see that Brian O'Driscoll's name is not on their teamsheet! But it's never easy against Leinster.
"It doesn't really matter who is playing for them, they are always a quality side and it would be massive for us to beat the champions."
Leach will be a key figure in the bid to make it five home wins out of five this season.
A lot of the defensive responsibility falls on the shoulders of the outside centre, who has been out of action since tearing ligaments in his left elbow in Edinburgh on September 13.
The Dragons have conceded just four tries in their Rodney Parade wins against Ulster, the Scarlets, Zebre and Mogliano but allowed their opponents to bag a first bonus point of the season last Friday when thrashed 40-17 by the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium.
"At home our defence has been brilliant and the work at the contact area has paid off, from there we have kept the scoreboard ticking over," said Leach.
"In midfield we are the ones making the calls, it's a lot of responsibility and I enjoy that challenge... although it's not so great when it goes wrong!
"Obviously we are disappointed with the result against the Ospreys but we are sure we can bounce back in a big challenge against Leinster."
Comments are closed on this article.