Madigan thinks Leinster are ‘a pass away’ from ending their try-scoring drought

BEING A TOP class goal kicker in rugby must be quite an isolating experience. On the one hand, you have 14 guys to help you get a win, but when you are standing over the kicking tee, there is only one person who will ultimately be judged.

Despite the All Blacks going the length of the field to deny Ireland a famous win last year, many point to Johnny Sexton’s missed kick minutes earlier as when the game was lost.

Ian Madigan’s kicking is one of the main reasons that Leinster are still alive in the Champions Cup this year – his boot brought the only points in the away win against Castres and in the bonus point loss at the Stoop.

Madigan says there are three people who he can rely on to prepare him for the high-pressure situations that he regularly finds himself in.

Madigan says he has benefited greatly from playing with Eoin Reddan. Source: Andrew Fosker/INPHO

“Someone like Eoin Reddan has been a real mentor for me,” Madigan said.

Leinster top the try-scoring table in the Pro12 but haven’t scored a five-pointer in their last two games against Harlequins and the Ospreys, nor did they get over the line in their second most recent Champions Cup game against Castres.

A few years ago, the thought of Leinster going two straight European Cup games without a try would have been unthinkable and there is real pressure on the backline to play more incisively against Harlequins at the Aviva on Saturday.

The Leinster attack has been held tryless in the last two games. Source: Inpho/Billy Stickland

Despite the recent absence of tries, Madigan saw positives in attack at The Stoop that he hopes to act on this weekend.

“The few times we got good attacking play together they were quite cynical and stopped our momentum by giving away penalties and that effected our flow,” Madigan said.

Under Joe Schmidt, the Aviva Stadium was (wait for the cliche) a fortress. Clermont slayed Leinster there in Schmidt’s last year and Matt O’Connor’s men lost to Northampton in last season’s Heineken Cup.

Madigan says that the players have been reminding themselves of their recent woes at the Aviva this week, and are determined to put on a show for their supporters in dispatching Quins.

“There has been an acknowledgement for the players this week that the last two games Leinster have played in the Aviva, we’ve lost both of them,” Madigan said.

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