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Investec Champions Cup - What do you call the round before the quarter finals?

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Post by doctor_grey Fri Apr 05, 2024 6:17 pm

More Euro Rugby:

Today's Teams:

Harlequins: 15 Tyrone Green, 14 Louis Lynagh, 13 Oscar Beard, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Cadan Murley, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Danny Care, 8 Alex Dombrandt, 7 Will Evans, 6 Stephan Lewies (captain), 5 George Hammond, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Will Collier, 2 Jack Walker, 1 Fin Baxter
Replacements: 16 Sam Riley, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 Will Trenholm, 21 Tom Lawday, 22 Max Green, 23 Cameron Anderson

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Josh McKay, 14 Kyle Steyn (captain), 13 Stafford McDowall, 12 Sione Tuipulotu, 11 Kyle Rowe, 10 Tom Jordan, 9 George Horne, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Rory Darge, 6 Matt Fagerson, 5 Scott Cummings, 4 Max Williamson, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Johnny Matthews, 1 Nathan McBeth
Replacements: 16 Gregor Hiddleston, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Lucio Sordoni, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Ally Miller, 21 Henco Venter, 22 Jamie Dobie, 23 Duncan Weir

Date: Friday, April 5
Venue: Twickenham Schtup
Kick-off: 20.00 (20.00 GMT)
Referee: Tual Trainini (France)
Assistant Referees: Ludovic Cayre (France), Flavien Hourquet (France)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri Apr 05, 2024 7:01 pm

Leinster Rugby
15 Hugo Keenan
14 Jordan Larmour
13 Robbie Henshaw
12 Jamie Osborne
11 James Lowe
10 Ross Byrne
9 Jamison Gibson-Park
1 Andrew Porter
2 Dan Sheehan
3 Tadhg Furlong
4 Ross Molony
5 Joe McCarthy
6 Ryan Baird
7 Josh van der Flier
8 Caelan Doris (c)

Replacements
16 Ronan Kelleher
17 Cian Healy
18 Michael Ala'alatoa
19 Jason Jenkins
20 Jack Conan
21 Ben Murphy
22 Harry Byrne
23 Ciaran Frawley

No Ringrose or James Ryan for Leinster who otherwise look ominously strong with all of their 50/50s coming though. Tigers on the other hand are minus Martin, Chessum, Henderson and Reffell so look weak up front and with Simmonds, Watson, Bassett, Scott and Porter out in the backline are short there with Steward having to cover the wing. Heyes being out and Dolly still only fit to be water boy definitely isn't going to help either.

STARTING XV

15 Jamie Shillcock [23]
14 Freddie Steward [83]
13 Dan Kelly [76]
12 Solomone Kata [15]
11 Ollie Hassell-Collins [17]
10 Handré Pollard [29]
9 Jack van Poortvliet [68]
1 James Cronin [30]
2 Julián Montoya [55]
3 Dan Cole [318]
4 Harry Wells [194]
5 Kyle Hatherell [18]
6 Hanro Liebenberg [103]
7 Olly Cracknell [38]
8 Jasper Wiese [74]

REPLACEMENTS
16 Charlie Clare [90]
17 Francois van Wyk [48]
18 Will Hurd [38]
19 Finn Carnduff [10]
20 Emeka Ilione [21]
21 Tom Whiteley [26]
22 Phil Cokanasiga [14]
23 Mike Brown [23]

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Post by king_carlos Fri Apr 05, 2024 7:55 pm

It's not a strong 23 from a Tigers team that isn't playing particularly well. No Chessum, Martin and Henderson completely neuters the second row. Whilst our pack has looked bereft of breakdown impact whenever Reffell has been absent.

Underpowered locks and a lack of jackal threats is a rubbish combination against a Leinster side packed with powerful carriers and renowned for going through lots of phases with quick ball.

It should be an absolute fisting.

I'm looking forward to seeing JvP-Pollard-Shillcock on the pitch at the same time though. I really rate Shillcock but think he's a better fullback than 10. Whilst I like the extra playmaker.

Ilione and Carnduff are quality talents on the bench too.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri Apr 05, 2024 9:06 pm

king_carlos wrote:It's not a strong 23 from a Tigers team that isn't playing particularly well. No Chessum, Martin and Henderson completely neuters the second row. Whilst our pack has looked bereft of breakdown impact whenever Reffell has been absent.

Underpowered locks and a lack of jackal threats is a rubbish combination against a Leinster side packed with powerful carriers and renowned for going through lots of phases with quick ball.

It should be an absolute fisting.

I'm looking forward to seeing JvP-Pollard-Shillcock on the pitch at the same time though. I really rate Shillcock but think he's a better fullback than 10. Whilst I like the extra playmaker.

Ilione and Carnduff are quality talents on the bench too.
Really unfortunate. Losing engine room players like those is a major disruption under normal circumstances. But losing them against Leinster will only make the win more legendary....

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat Apr 06, 2024 3:01 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
king_carlos wrote:It's not a strong 23 from a Tigers team that isn't playing particularly well. No Chessum, Martin and Henderson completely neuters the second row. Whilst our pack has looked bereft of breakdown impact whenever Reffell has been absent.

Underpowered locks and a lack of jackal threats is a rubbish combination against a Leinster side packed with powerful carriers and renowned for going through lots of phases with quick ball.

It should be an absolute fisting.

I'm looking forward to seeing JvP-Pollard-Shillcock on the pitch at the same time though. I really rate Shillcock but think he's a better fullback than 10. Whilst I like the extra playmaker.

Ilione and Carnduff are quality talents on the bench too.
Really unfortunate.  Losing engine room players like those is a major disruption under normal circumstances.  But losing them against Leinster will only make the win more impossible....    

Fixed that for you.

KC's statement around a fisting is a bit generous, more like a dry fisting from a gorilla. If we keep it under 50 points we'll have done well.

Hopefully we get some players back for the Saints game. Ideally give them a mangling up front and grind out a win.

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Post by Geordie Sat Apr 06, 2024 3:36 pm

Class by Ted Hill....

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Post by Geordie Sat Apr 06, 2024 3:52 pm

Wow some defence by Bath!!

Feyi Waboso is one powerful young winger though...

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Post by Geordie Sat Apr 06, 2024 4:14 pm

England have some player with Feyi Waboso ...

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat Apr 06, 2024 4:33 pm

Stormers are leading 16-10 but the stretcher has been on a couple of times.

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Post by mountain man Sat Apr 06, 2024 4:44 pm

I've been listening to Exeter Bath on radio whilst cutting grass on Radio 5 Live which is radio Exeter feed and the commentary is so biased towards Exeter it's ridiculous. I dont know who the summarizer is but Jesus he's an annoying tw*t.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat Apr 06, 2024 5:03 pm

Manie Libbok misses a conversion which would have seen the Stormers home. La Rochelle are through 21-22

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat Apr 06, 2024 5:21 pm

Good to have two close games after the Bulls made short work of Lyon. Even better that there was an away win too.

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Post by king_carlos Sat Apr 06, 2024 5:34 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
king_carlos wrote:It's not a strong 23 from a Tigers team that isn't playing particularly well. No Chessum, Martin and Henderson completely neuters the second row. Whilst our pack has looked bereft of breakdown impact whenever Reffell has been absent.

Underpowered locks and a lack of jackal threats is a rubbish combination against a Leinster side packed with powerful carriers and renowned for going through lots of phases with quick ball.

It should be an absolute fisting.

I'm looking forward to seeing JvP-Pollard-Shillcock on the pitch at the same time though. I really rate Shillcock but think he's a better fullback than 10. Whilst I like the extra playmaker.

Ilione and Carnduff are quality talents on the bench too.
Really unfortunate.  Losing engine room players like those is a major disruption under normal circumstances.  But losing them against Leinster will only make the win more impossible....    

Fixed that for you.

KC's statement around a fisting is a bit generous, more like a dry fisting from a gorilla. If we keep it under 50 points we'll have done well.

Hopefully we get some players back for the Saints game. Ideally give them a mangling up front and grind out a win.
"Lubeless turbofisting", is my personal favourite refrain for mismatches such as these. Someone used it in a cricket Patreon chat, of all places, when England were getting pummelled by an incomparably better India team in India over the winter. The rest of the message was impressively eloquent and well presented too. Lots of long words and well informed analysis. Then, "lubeless turbofisting". During a rough day at work it pops into my head and I laugh every time.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat Apr 06, 2024 6:54 pm

Thanks for the eloquent descriptions about being (or is it administering?) fisting.
For now, just relax, the police will be there soon....

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Post by Geordie Sat Apr 06, 2024 7:43 pm

How did Ben Loader player for the Stormers?

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Post by doctor_grey Sat Apr 06, 2024 8:37 pm

Geordie wrote:How did Ben Loader player for the Stormers?
Almost won the game for Stormers. Literally. For the rest of the game he was fine.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat Apr 06, 2024 8:42 pm

Almost half time and Leinster are doing what they do. Be solid, do the fundamentals well, and be ready when opportunities present themselves. Leicester are putting themselves out there commendably, but Leinster are simply a level ahead. And it's not like Tigers don't have good players out there.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat Apr 06, 2024 9:39 pm

At 75 minutes, and Leinster still just a step ahead at almost every turn. So fundamentally sound.

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Post by carpet baboon Sat Apr 06, 2024 9:50 pm

Decent game that.
I like Ben Kay and think he does some very good analysis, but tonight he occasionally forgot he's not a tigers player anymore.
But he's definitely one of the better ex player turned commentator

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sat Apr 06, 2024 10:19 pm

Not seen the game as I'm away. Sounds a lot closer than expected with us keeping a superior Leinster team honest and just a couple of mistakes and decisions not going our way, which I'll definitely take.

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Post by king_carlos Sat Apr 06, 2024 10:35 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:Not seen the game as I'm away. Sounds a lot closer than expected with us keeping a superior Leinster team honest and just a couple of mistakes and decisions not going our way, which I'll definitely take.
It was a better performance than expected.

Two obvious moments where it ran away. The Kelly pass that Henshaw intercepted. Hanro made a good turnover, Tigers had a great chance to attack but instead of making yards up the middle and setting shape, Kelly had a brain fart and threw a huge loopy miss pass. Henshaw read it well and ran it in. That took Leinster to 14 points up. 

Then OHC absolutely butchering a try. A good set-piece move from a scrum sent OHC through, he broke free with a good step, then threw a diabolical pass behind his man from a 3 on 1. Mike Brown level final passing. It was pretty poor. Given how good a finisher is, OHC might've made it himself if he'd backed his pace. That was 14 points down, should've brought it to one converted try again.

In all honesty, it seemed similar to the other Tigers vs Leinster games from the last 3 seasons where Tigers were fleetingly in touch. I felt that Leinster had another 2 gears to go up to if they needed them, but they simply didn't.

The bench props made a difference. Healy and Ala'alatoa kept the heat on, whereas van Wyk and Hurd struggled at the scrum.Without our best three locks, Tigers were clinging on in terms of winning collisions. Once the replacement props gave them scrum dominance, Conan and Baird in particular were just making yards for fun.

On the upside, the Tigers attack does look better with JvP, Pollard and Shillcock together. For much of the season Pollard has just been getting swamped. Same with the one off runners from 9. JvP has added a lot at the base, whilst Shillcock looks better as a playmaker with that bit more time wider out. That does raise the Steward at the centre question that I've been curious about for a while though. With Wiese going, Tigers direly need guys who can make yards through contact. Steward can do that, he'd be able to do it more often from the midfield.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sun Apr 07, 2024 6:17 am

Jamie George quoted saying Saracens "opted out of the fight" yesterday. Wonder if some players switched off once the scoreline blew out.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun Apr 07, 2024 9:16 am

Rugby Fan wrote:Jamie George quoted saying Saracens "opted out of the fight" yesterday. Wonder if some players switched off once the scoreline blew out.

They did grab a couple of consolation tries so perhaps pointing the finger at some of those who got subbed to make way for the impact players?

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Post by king_carlos Sun Apr 07, 2024 12:32 pm

It felt like the long awaited end of an era in a way. That Sarries core have been aging out for a couple of seasons. Billy and Mako aren't quite what they were. Goode is slower. Faz is moving on. They just didn't have that physicality anymore. Which was once what defined that Sarries team which won so much.

Considering that same Sarries team pulled Quins pants down in epic fashion a fortnight ago, it does feel fairly indicative of where the Prem is compared to the top end teams. One semi-finalist in the preceding 3 seasons of the Champions Cup and Chiefs were hammered by La Rochelle in that semi. We've had teams making it through to the quarters but they've generally been easily put away.

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Post by mountain man Sun Apr 07, 2024 2:10 pm

Saints looking like win against Munster. Hendy two tries and second brilliant strength.

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Post by Cumbrian Sun Apr 07, 2024 2:14 pm

mountain man wrote:Saints looking like win against Munster. Hendy two tries and second brilliant strength.

It has been a superb game. Some of the attacking play has been brilliant.
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Post by mountain man Sun Apr 07, 2024 2:20 pm

Fortunately I didn't curse them and they got well deserved win.
As for 15s for England I think Hendy a prospect

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Post by Cumbrian Sun Apr 07, 2024 2:40 pm

Hendy looks like a stick insect on steroids. He is all arms and legs and you expect him to get ragdolled, but as you say he is deceptively strong. I was very impressed with Freeman, he is turning into a very impressive player.
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Post by RiscaGame Sun Apr 07, 2024 2:45 pm

It was a good game, to be fair. I only caught it by chance too, when I remembered some Ewrop games would be FTA.

I was so surprised with Hendy's second finish. Fair play. Awkward runner.

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Post by mountain man Sun Apr 07, 2024 2:45 pm

Sleightholme continues to demonstrate he should be in contention for England. A mystery how Daly in when players like him are consistently excellent. And don't give me the kicking bollards argument.

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Post by doctor_grey Sun Apr 07, 2024 4:03 pm

Happiness

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Post by king_carlos Sun Apr 07, 2024 4:21 pm

Had it not been for that ban then Langdon may well have made the England squad when LCD was injured. He's had an excellent season with Saints on the whole.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun Apr 07, 2024 4:24 pm

Paul Willemse is a red card machine laughing

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Post by Rugby Fan Sun Apr 07, 2024 5:21 pm

Champions Cup quarter-final draw

Bordeaux-Begles (4) v Harlequins (5) on Saturday, April 13 at 16:00 local (15:00 BST)
Leinster (2) v La Rochelle (10) on Saturday, April 13 at 17:30 BST
Northampton Saints (3) v Bulls (6) on Saturday, April 13 at 20:00 BST
Toulouse (1) v Exeter Chiefs (8)  on Sunday, April 14 at 16:00 local (15:00 BST)

https://www.epcrugby.com/champions-cup/content/champions-cup-quarter-final-matches-teams-confirmed

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Post by doctor_grey Sun Apr 07, 2024 6:11 pm

The two Saints tries in the first half were from good pressure on the Munster line, the two in the second half were a length of the field try and a Henday piece of brilliance from a standing start outside the 22.  Interesting watching Hendy run:  Immediately after contact he re-squares his shoulders and continues straight to the line.  This is very good coaching...

On the other side of the ball, Saints are played the type of defence Borthwick is trying to implement with England. Saints were both aggressive and patient.

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Post by mountain man Sun Apr 07, 2024 6:47 pm

Hey disliker, why not give opinion instead of anonymous response. Just a thought.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun Apr 07, 2024 7:08 pm

mountain man wrote:Sleightholme continues to demonstrate he should be in contention for England. A mystery how Daly in when players like him are consistently excellent. And don't give me the kicking bollards argument.

Mainly because Sleightholme gets injured at inopportune times and Daly covers most of the backline and has done for years at the highest level. If you are rebuilding a team then Daly with his wealth of experience across multiple coaching set ups is very useful in the short term.

Sleightholme offers a very different prospect to a lot of the England wingers. His strength and low centre of gravity mean he makes a lot of metres post contact and defensively is a menace at the breakdown. He's not very positionally versatile though which may count against him. I'd like to see him work on his aerial ability as well, moan about kicking as much as you like but it's a non-negotiable come international rugby. If he stays fit he has a decent chance of touring in the summer.

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Post by mountain man Sun Apr 07, 2024 7:11 pm

So are you disliker? Just wondering. And as for Daly short term, he's been England player for years. Yes a versatile player but I think England need more

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun Apr 07, 2024 7:56 pm

mountain man wrote:So are you disliker? Just wondering. And as for Daly short term, he's been England player for years. Yes a versatile player but I think England need more

Nope.

It's easy to say England need more, it's difficult to find a replacement that offers the kind of versatility and experience though. He's a very handy option to slowly phase out whilst the team evolves.

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Post by mountain man Sun Apr 07, 2024 8:00 pm

So how exactly does a team evolve if new players not introduced. Same applies to front row, I firmly believe players need to be tried in summer and autumn matches but some think as is their right of course to keep with old guard.

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Post by Heaf Sun Apr 07, 2024 8:08 pm

Just finished watching Saints v Munster - what a cracker. Both teams going all out making a great match.

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Post by Collapse2005 Sun Apr 07, 2024 8:11 pm

Now that Munster are out I assume their fans will switch to supporting La Rochelle?

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Post by doctor_grey Sun Apr 07, 2024 8:20 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Now that Munster are out I assume their fans will switch to supporting La Rochelle?
I think that already happened.

Here is a funny interview with the proud Munsterman Simon Zebo talking about playing for Leinster.....
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=766232733734322

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Post by king_carlos Sun Apr 07, 2024 9:15 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Now that Munster are out I assume their fans will switch to supporting La Rochelle?
It's an intriguing match to get as early as the QFs. La Rochelle have been nowhere near their best this season but have won the last two finals. Missing Wardi and Bourgarit in the front row is tough enough, then Colombe as well means they can't replace Antonio like for like. Leinster themselves do look a little bit in flux with Nienaber coming in, some new systems in place and Sexton retired. If it were me, I'd be really tempted to start Will Connors as a horses for courses route to stopping the big La Rochelle runners. He's a brilliant chop tackler.

I'd expect Toulouse (especially with Dupont 2.0 Electric Boogaloo) and Bordeaux to have too much at home in their semis.

The Saints vs Bulls game at Franklins Garden's is a good matchup though. Given the winner of that then plays Leinster or La Rochelle, it's a tough route to getting further!

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Post by Geordie Sun Apr 07, 2024 10:41 pm

mountain man wrote:So how exactly does a team evolve if new players not introduced. Same applies to front row, I firmly believe players need to be tried in summer and autumn matches but some think as is their right of course to keep with old guard.

Mitchell not long been first choice
Theo Dan not long Been in as back up 2
Roots
Fin Smith
CCS
Earl not really been in for that long
Waboso
Furbank brought back in
Freeman
George Martin not long been full squad and still not starter...

And maybe one or two more for the tour like Baxter etc...

Plenty of newbies under SB..

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Post by lostinwales Sun Apr 07, 2024 10:49 pm

I think Hendy would have had a lot more coverage/attention if he hadn't come through at the same time as a certain other full back who scores silly length of the pitch tries.

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Post by doctor_grey Sun Apr 07, 2024 10:51 pm

king_carlos wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Now that Munster are out I assume their fans will switch to supporting La Rochelle?
It's an intriguing match to get as early as the QFs. La Rochelle have been nowhere near their best this season but have won the last two finals. Missing Wardi and Bourgarit in the front row is tough enough, then Colombe as well means they can't replace Antonio like for like. Leinster themselves do look a little bit in flux with Nienaber coming in, some new systems in place and Sexton retired. If it were me, I'd be really tempted to start Will Connors as a horses for courses route to stopping the big La Rochelle runners. He's a brilliant chop tackler.

I'd expect Toulouse (especially with Dupont 2.0 Electric Boogaloo) and Bordeaux to have too much at home in their semis.

The Saints vs Bulls game at Franklins Garden's is a good matchup though. Given the winner of that then plays Leinster or La Rochelle, it's a tough route to getting further!
And the most likely prize for getting past Leinster/La Rochelle is Toulouse. Bloody hell, which ever club wins this damn thing, they will have earned it.

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Post by king_carlos Sun Apr 07, 2024 11:22 pm

Toulouse going down the ABs route of just packing the backline with playmakers too. Dupont is even more electric now that he looks quicker after the Sevens training. Ntamack is back. Kinghorn was at fullback and Mallia on the wing today. When Ramos returns they could go even further by putting Kinghorn on the wing. A potential backline with 5 out of 7 of them having started pro games at 10. Then two units in Ahki and Barassi running lines off them. It's a whole lotta fun.

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