Unbeaten Leinster Move on To the Scarlets
Leinster managed to maintain their unbeaten run in this season’s competition as they brushed aside Champions Cup holders Saracens in Dublin. Leinster have been going great guns so far this campaign and are now undoubtedly the favourites to lift the cup; with the Scarlets next up at home in the semi-finals. Saracens had been looking to win their third straight trophy, but Leinster had other ideas and once again showed their class by winning the game 30-19.
Saracens will have gone in at half time feeling that they were still on course to make the semi-finals, with Leinster only leading by a single point at 13-12. Gary Ringrose had scored a try early on to get Leinster up and running before Johnny Sexton and Owen Farrell seemed to do battle with penalties. The tie was perfectly poised at the break and there was still a chance for either side to take the game by the scruff of the neck and go on to secure victory.
After the break it was Leinster who really came out and stamped their authority on the quarter final fixture, with both Dan Leavy and James Lowe scoring tries to build on their side’s slender advantage. Blair Cowan replied with a try of his own to give Saracens hope of getting back into the game, but Leinster managed to see the game out, ending any hope of a third straight trophy for Saracens.
Leinster were certainly handed a boost as they welcomed back a number of Ireland’s Grand Slam winners, and they carried this triumph into the game against Saracens superbly. They were clinical and at times provided individual moments of brilliance to dump lasts season’s champions out of the competition.
Even though Leinster did manage to go in at the break with a one-point lead over Saracens, it was the former who really dominated the first half, so you must credit Leinster for coming out after the break and going on to put the result beyond doubt. Saracens had gone in at half time after enjoying 64% of possession and 67% of the territory and they did manage to cause Johnny Sexton a whole world of problems, but it wasn’t enough.
Saracens found themselves outfought and outclassed by Leinster, especially by their returning Irish Grand Slam stars. By the hour mark the tie was effectively over as great team play saw James Lowe drive over from close-range. Saracens never gave up and they tried to mount a comeback, but Leinster were just too strong. As a result, most reputable bookmakers now have Leinster as odds on favourites to win the Champions Cup, and anyone who fancies a punt can click here to get the best prices for the competition.
Leinster will now be looking to carry on their great run of form against Scarlets at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin in less than three weeks’ time. The other semi final sees Racing 92 take on Munster at the Stade Chaban-Delmas in Bordeaux. Leinster should certainly get to the final and the club is expected to be the side lifting the Champions Cup at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao. However, as we have seen, nothing is guaranteed in sport; so we strongly suggest not ruling out the other three in the competition.