AS HIS TEAM celebrated a dramatic Ulster Bank League title in the expansive Aviva Stadium changing rooms, Lansdowne coach Mike Ruddock had his emotions in check.
It was a fitting stance for the coach of a side who showed steely nerves to overturn a nine-point second half deficit to claim the Division 1a title.
Momentum in sport can often feel like an unstoppable force for those on the wrong end of it. Yet Lansdowne stuck to their task to shrug off the incidents that went against them. None more so than Scott Deasy who was guilty of floating a pass into the hands of Clontarf’s Matt D’Arcy allowing him run 60 metres to score a try.
The former Munster out-half soon pulled himself back into the black on the ledger with two priceless kicks from difficult angles on the left and right flank.
“We’ve had a catchphrase all season which is ‘next minute’, Ruddock said.
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“You can’t change what has gone on before. You cant blame somebody for an intercept try or for a yellow card or stupid penalty, No point in wasting energy and your focus.
“We didn’t buckle mentally, we stayed strong, stayed believing we could change the minutes after that and that is what we did and I thought it was a fantastic effort by the boys to come through that test.
“It was a tough test, it was a tough test [in the semi-final] against Young Munster: three points down in the last minute, we closed out that game, showed our belief in that game and did it again today.”
The former under 20s coach added:
“Our scramble defence was good, but it took an intercept to put us under pressure and what I was pleased with was that we overcame that test.
“We were staring down the barrel in a final against a top team having scored a try against the run of play so that’s a test for any team and we passed that test superbly.”
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