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Match Preview: Leinster Rugby vs RC Toulonnais

by Jim O'Connor, 2015-12-19

The Christmas game at the Aviva, Leinster's marquee fixture, will now be played in a bizarre atmosphere. The game has been described as a dead rubber, but of course that's only true for the home team. Toulon still badly need the points in what's becoming a very tight three-way battle between them, Wasps and Bath.
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Match Preview: RC Toulonnais v Leinster Rugby

by Jim O'Connor, 2015-12-11

After losing their first two pool matches Leinster are now is a position where they have to win their final four games to have any chance of progressing to the knock-out stages. That's a tough position to be in at the best of times but it gets even worse when you have to take on the current champions in back to back games. Toulon have been the champions of Europe for the past three seasons, buying their success with a dazzling array of big name imports.
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Match Preview: Glasgow Warriors vs Leinster Rugby

by Jim O'Connor, 2015-12-04

Leinster got back to winning ways last week, even if once again the performance left a lot to be desired. The pack actually went pretty well and largely dominated but the chances they created were mostly squandered by some appalling handling from the backs. The handling skills in the squad have been poor for some time now and when you see how Connacht players, forwards and backs, handled the ball so well in their defeat of Munster, you really have to question Leinster's players and their coach's training methods. It's almost become the standard line after games these days for Leinster to talk of "poor execution" and they have only scored three tries in their last four games, not one of them from a back. It looks like they need a root and branch review of why their skills repeatedly let them down in the opposition twenty two.
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Match Preview: Leinster Rugby vs Ulster Rugby

by Jim O'Connor, 2015-11-27

These are tough times for Leinster rugby. After the defeat last week to Bath, they've now lost their opening two games in Europe for the first time since 1996. That was only the second season of the European Cup, but it was the first season that English clubs participated and in those days it did seem that the Irish provinces would be perennial also-rans. There was the odd big win at home like Leinster beating Leicester or Munster beating Wasps but just qualifying from the pool was tough enough, never mind winning the competition. It all changed in 1999 with Ulster's incredible win, albeit in a season where the English clubs boycotted the tournament. By the next season, Munster had gone all the way to the final, even with the English clubs involved, and between those two achievements there was now real belief in Irish rugby that they could compete with the best teams in Europe. It took a number of years and a few heartbreaks along the way but eventually the success arrived with five Heineken Cups in seven seasons between 2006 and 2012.
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Match Preview: Bath Rugby vs Leinster Rugby

by Jim O'Connor, 2015-11-20

In the light of events in Paris last week and the untimely death of Jonah Lomu, we shouldn't go overboard about a defeat in a rugby match. But taken purely in a sporting context, last Sunday's match was grim viewing for Leinster fans. It started off reasonably okay and Leinster were ahead after twenty minutes. Then Wasps were gifted a try before halftime but even then, most of those present thought Leinster would come back in the second half. However when Wasps scored their second try all the fight went out of Leinster and they succumbed to their biggest home defeat ever in European competition.
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