O'Connor happy to head to Toulon

Mon, 20 Jan 2014 09:32
Large matt o connor leinster

Having watched the past weekend's action unfold, Leinster coach Matt O'Connor was pleased with the European Cup quarterfinal draw.

Having watched the past weekend's action unfold, Leinster coach Matt O'Connor was pleased with the European Cup quarterfinal draw.

"At the start of the year one of our goals as a squad and as a management team was to qualify for the European Cup quarterfinals and we've done that as pool winners," the mentor of the Irish province said.

O'Connor did acknowledge that the road to an away quarterfinal against Toulon had not been easy, but again praised the effort of his players.

"It has taken a big effort from the players to come through a tough group with five wins out of six and they deserve great credit for that."

An away trip to Toulon and their vast array of stars is going to be a real challenge, but one that O'Connor is already eager to embrace.

"I've said it many times before, there are no easy games in the European Cup and a trip to Toulon is further proof of that.

"They have a fantastic squad of players and their form in the European Cup has been excellent with only one loss in a group containing Cardiff, Exeter and Glasgow meaning they have earned their home quarterfinal.

"I know from the mentality of my players that they want to be tested against the best and ultimately if we are to progress in this competition then we have to play and beat the best and I am confident that we have the capabilities to do that."

Of course the draw for the semifinals of the European Cup were also made at ERC headquarters today but O'Connor would not be drawn on a possible clash with either Munster or Stade Toulouse.

"Look of course the draw will get fans and media talking but we can't control that.

"All that we can control is our own performance away to Toulon. If we get over that considerable hurdle we will have plenty of time to talk about a potential semifinal then and I am sure Rob [Penney] will say the same!"

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EUROPEAN CUP
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Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
La Rochelle 6 4 0 2 20
Wasps 6 3 0 3 17
Ulster 6 4 0 2 17
Harlequins 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 22
Saracens 6 3 1 2 18
Ospreys 6 2 1 3 15
Northampton Saints 6 1 0 5 6
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 6 6 0 0 27
Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 15
Montpellier 6 2 0 4 13
Glasgow Warriors 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 6 4 1 1 21
Racing Metro 6 4 0 2 19
Castres 6 2 1 3 12
Leicester Tigers 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Scarlets 6 4 0 2 21
Toulon 6 4 0 2 19
Bath 6 4 0 2 18
Treviso 6 0 0 5 4