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Leinster looking for another maximum

Thursday 19th January 2023

12:30 pm (GMT)

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Leinster looking for another maximum

Leinster Rugby back-row forward Caelan Doris has scored four tries in 22 Heineken Champions Cup games

Pool A leaders Leinster Rugby will look to underline their supremacy in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup so far when they host Racing 92 on Saturday.

The Irish province have notched three maximums from their three games and have amassed an incredible 148 points, including a resounding 42-10 win in the reverse fixture last month in France.

Racing, by contrast, have registered a solitary victory – last week’s 30-29 home success over Harlequins – to occupy the final qualification slot on points difference from Gloucester Rugby.

The match kicks off at 3.15pm local time at Aviva Stadium, and can be watched on RTE, BT Sport, beIN SPORTS, SuperSport and FloRugby.

Key quote

Leinster Rugby head coach Leo Cullen: “It’s exciting for our players to be in front of friends and family. Racing are tricky opponents for us. They’ve plenty of quality in their squad.”

Leinster Rugby

  • With two try assists in Round 3, Caelan Doris has made more than any other player (5).
  • Jamie Osborne beat eight defenders in Round 3 – a round high.
  • Dan Sheehan threw 22 successful lineouts last weekend – more than any other player – and missed none.
  • Leinster have scored the most tries in the competition (22), with four coming from mauls.

Racing 92

  • In Round 3, Finn Russell conceded as many turnovers as any other player (5). However, a round-high three of his seven restarts were retained.
  • Racing have stolen the joint-most lineouts in the competition this season (6), with Baptiste Chouzenoux responsible for three.
  • They have been shown the joint-most yellow cards in the competition (5), with three of them coming in Round 3.

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Leinster complete impervious Pool A campaign

Saturday 21st January 2023

5:18 pm (GMT)

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Leinster complete impervious Pool A campaign

Leinster's Jimmy O'Brien crosses for his first try against Racing

Leinster Rugby secured top spot in Heineken Champions Cup Pool A and home advantage in the knockout stage as they overcame Racing 92 36-10 in Dublin on Saturday.

Last season’s finalists had to work hard for their fourth straight bonus-point victory in the pool, crossing through Jimmy O’Brien (2), Hugo Keenan (2), Josh van der Flier and Garry Ringrose.

Racing were well in contention on the hour mark, with Janick Tarrit and Christian Wade getting over either side of half-time but were overrun in the closing stages.

Leinster started strongly and got over for the first try of the game on 14 minutes as a brilliant backs move released centre Ringrose, whose offload allowed wing O’Brien to splash over out wide.

But the four-time champions struggled to find their rhythm following that score and saw wing Jordan Larmour yellow-carded for a deliberate knock-on on 27 minutes.

Racing were enjoying a long period of pressure and eventually got over with Larmour in the sin bin, hooker Tarrit burrowing through a maul and planting down.

Fly-half Finn Russell was unable to add the extras, as Leinster counterpart Ross Byrne had earlier, and the hosts ultimately went into the break with a two-point lead.

Russell was off target again with a penalty shortly after the restart but was the creator of Racing’s second try as he ghosted through the Leinster defence superbly before slinging the ball out to wing Wade, who finished with ease.

Leinster found a response on 52 minutes when replacement hooker Dan Sheehan made an industrious carry towards the Racing line and managed to get an offload away to full-back Keenan, who dotted down to put the Irish province back in front.

And they would eventually take control in the final quarter of an hour, with a well-worked lineout drive putting flanker van der Flier over before O’Brien’s mazy run and offload saw Keenan cross for a second time, securing the bonus point.

The floodgates were well and truly open as Leinster dotted twice more late on, Ringrose setting up O’Brien for his second with a cracking offload before finishing himself in the final play to cap a supreme performance.

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