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Leicester bid to halt Leinster’s unbeaten run

Wednesday 5th April 2023

12:43 pm (GMT)

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Leicester bid to halt Leinster’s unbeaten run

Leinster Rugby lock James Ryan

Leicester Tigers will be looking to be the first club to inflict defeat on Leinster Rugby this season when they meet in the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on Friday night.

In addition to winning all five of their Heineken Champions Cup ties so far this campaign, the Irish province have won 15 and drawn one of their BKT United Rugby Championship fixtures.

They have also triumphed in their last three EPCR encounters with Leicester, including last season’s quarter-final at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, to lead their overall meetings 7-5.

However, the Gallagher Premiership club have won twice at the Aviva – in their 2005 quarter-final, when they emerged 29-13 victors, and in their first EPCR encounter in 1996, a pool game, which Tigers won 27-10.

Leinster reached the quarter-finals via a 30-15 success over Ulster Rugby, while Leicester progressed thanks to a 16-6 win over Edinburgh Rugby.

The match kicks off at 20:00 (UK & Irish) time and can be watched on RTE, BT Sport, beIN SPORTS, SuperSport and FloRugby.

Key quotes

Leinster Rugby back-row forward Jack Conan: “They haven’t lost in six games, we know them well from last year and they were always sitting around the top of the Premiership. It’s going to be a big task, but as of right now the lads are in good form.”

Leicester Tigers head coach Richard Wigglesworth: “We know the challenge that is ahead of us, we know the quality of side we will come up against and that excites us; we want to play the big games, be a part of the big moments together.”

Leinster Rugby

  • Despite not scoring in the Round of 16, flanker Josh van der Flier remains the top try-scorer in the Heineken Champions Cup this season with five.
  • Ross Byrne has made more crossfield kicks than any other player this season (5).
  • James Ryan has made the most clearouts in the competition (39).

Leicester Tigers

  • Leicester’s goalkicking has been the best in the tournament so far with a success rate of 93%.
  • Cameron Henderson has made the most low tackles in the competition (32).
  • Of the teams remaining in the Heineken Champions Cup, Leicester have made the highest proportion of their tackles below the waist (53%).

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Imperious Leinster crush Leicester

Friday 7th April 2023

10:09 pm (GMT)

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Imperious Leinster crush Leicester

Leinster centre Garry Ringrose was Heineken Star of the Match against Leicester in the quarter-finals

Leinster emphatically underlined their Heineken Champions Cup credentials with an impressive 55-24 thrashing of Leicester Tigers in the quarter-finals in Dublin on Friday night.

The four-time champions produced scores from Garry Ringrose (2), Jamison Gibson-Park, Scott Penny, Jimmy O’Brien and John McKee, in addition to a penalty try, while Ross Byrne contributed 18 points from the tee.

Leicester were overwhelmed in the second half but crossed three times at the Aviva Stadium, Anthony Watson, Olly Cracknell and Harry Potter providing their tries.

Leinster made a blistering start as they immediately marched into the Tigers 22 before centre Ringrose darted through a gap to dot down with less than a minute played, fly-half Byrne adding the extras, as he did for all of his side’s tries.

Leicester responded well and got on the board through fly-half Handré Pollard’s penalty on six minutes, but despite spirited defence, they would concede another try 10 minutes later.

Ringrose was the scorer again, benefitting from a beautiful move off a scrum, centre Robbie Henshaw and wing O’Brien linking up before sending the EPCR Player of the Year nominee over the whitewash.

Byrne was then on hand to extend Leinster’s lead to 14 points with a long-range penalty on 31 minutes.

But Leicester battled hard to remain in contention and were rewarded for their perseverance moments before the break as full-back Mike Brown took a penalty quickly to catch Leinster off guard before wing Watson finished superbly in the corner.

Pollard converted brilliantly from the touchline to bring the gap down to 10 points, and Leinster were under further pressure six minutes into the second half as flanker Caelan Doris was yellow-carded for a high tackle on Leicester No.8 Jasper Wiese.

Leinster would wrestle control during Doris’ sin bin, however, as Byrne kicked another three points following a scrum penalty before scrum-half Gibson-Park splashed over after another break from Ringrose.

The hosts then widened their advantage further as they earned a penalty try on 58 minutes, Leicester replacement hooker Charlie Clare bringing down a maul illegally and receiving a yellow card just as Doris returned.

Leinster then made it three scores in 10 minutes, replacement flanker Penny spinning out a maul and planting down emphatically.

Flanker Cracknell battered his way over from close range for Leicester on 67 minutes, but that never looked to be anything more than a consolation and the electric O’Brien notched a sixth for Leinster as he cruised in courtesy of replacement fly-half Harry Byrne’s perfectly-timed pass.

Leicester full-back Mike Brown was sin-binned late on, and although centre Potter grabbed a third try for the visitors with a breakaway effort, Leinster had the final say as replacement hooker McKee profited from another rumbling maul in the dying seconds.

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