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Rugby Leinster 33 Benetton 19
In the original ‘Men in Black’ film, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones use a tool called a ‘neuralyzer’ to wipe the mind of anybody who sees the flash.
It came in handy whenever they wanted people to forget what they had just seen.
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We have reached a point in Irish rugby where most people have forgotten or rather have chosen to erase the World Cup from their memory.
Life moves on, and that supporters are fed up of hearing about it, on one hand is fair enough, but on the other, is naive to think we can just go along as if it never happened.
Leo Cullen would certainly rather the World Cup chat was put to bed now, particularly because the majority of the Ireland squad is made up of his Leinster players. If only he had a neuralyzer.
Those who have spoken publicly since the fallout haven’t exactly shirked the issue and as another six internationals returned to action on Saturday night at the RDS, they showed no signs of a hangover.
Robbie Henshaw came off the bench late on, which means that Tadhg Furlong is now the only one of Leinster’s heavy hitters who has yet to make his comeback from Japan.
The tighthead prop is struggling with a back problem and although Cullen is hoping to have Furlong back this weekend, an update on his fitness will be provided today.
It wasn’t perfect by any means, but the bonus-point win over a plucky Benetton outfit was an ideal way to warm up for the much tougher test that lies ahead in Lyon on Saturday.
Cullen wanted a stern test and while it was too close for comfort at times, his side dug in well to ensue that a shock was never on the cards.
The Leinster players looked happy to be back in blue and they weren’t shy in showing it either as they channelled the obvious frustration in the right manner.
“I think it is because of you guys (media) giving them so much hassle,” Cullen remarked, when asked about that emotion.
“They are trying to get out of it, get it off their chest, get back out there and just play, and play well. There is a huge amount of frustration when you get knocked out of any tournament.
“The problem is the World Cup gets such a build-up that – and we have talked about this – there is going to be an anti-climax for guys regardless of how that tournament ends. I think you are going to see it across all the countries.
“They have got to get back going now. You can see it in them. You can see it in the players, that sense that they just want to get out and play well.
“When things go well it is that sense of, ‘Yeah, we are doing something positive again, it is not all bad.’
“But definitely we talk about getting back on the horse for the guys. We have so many
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