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Match Preview: Zebre vs Leinster Rugby

by Jim O'Connor, 2016-02-26

Last week's match against Cardiff was not a thing of beauty, the horrendous weather made sure of that. However Leinster did enough to snag a win that moved them up to second in the table behind Connacht with a game in hand. They need to keep up the pressure with a win on Sunday against Zebre, who they hammered 52-0 only two weeks ago. Zebre were fairly poor that night but sometimes playing a team so soon after you've given them a hiding can be tricky. For example Leinster hockeyed Northampton 40-7 in Franklins Gardens three year ago. They expected a handy number the following week in the Aviva only to be beaten 18-9. Now admittedly Zebre aren't Northampton but still Leinster need to avoid complacency.
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Match Preview: Cardiff Blues vs Leinster Rugby

by Jim O'Connor, 2016-02-19

It's tight at the top!

All the teams in the top four won last weekend to create a six-point gap between them and the teams in the chasing pack. The chasing pack include last year's champions Glasgow and last year's losing finalist Munster, who play each other in a crucial game tonight. It shows how competitive the league has become and it's vital for Leinster to keep winning to keep their position. Last week they had a very handy win over a poor Zebre side, winning both halves 26-0. This week promises to be a tougher test on Cardiff's 4G pitch.
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Match Preview: Leinster Rugby vs Zebre

by Jim O'Connor, 2016-02-11

Leinster's run of seven straight league wins came to an end a fortnight ago against the Dragons. It was well publicised that Leinster were up against it given the amount of players that were missing due to injury and international commitments. The Dragons deserved their win and could have been out of sight at half time but Leinster will regret that when they had a lengthy spell of pressure in the second half, they couldn't turn it into scores. A combination of awful discipline and naivety meant they left without even a losing bonus point and that will grate with Leo Cullen. It's meant Leinster have slipped down to fourth place in the table, although they still have a game in hand.
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Match Preview: Dragons vs Leinster Rugby

by Jim O'Connor, 2016-01-28

Leinster finished their European campaign the way the started it, by breaking records against Wasps. Unfortunately they were the wrong sort of records. After suffering their biggest European home defeat in their opening match against Wasps in the RDS, they registered their biggest ever defeat last weekend in Coventry. Now obviously rugby is a game where motivation is key and when it comes to the final round of games, you expect to see the teams with something to play for beat the teams only playing for pride. For many years, Leinster were the ones dealing out these sort of beatings. However it was shocking to see an all international team completely collapse the way they did in a second half which they lost 36-0. It was a reality check to the whole organisation that unless there's drastic improvement between now and next season, Leinster risk becoming perennial also-rans in Europe.
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Match Preview: Ospreys vs Leinster Rugby

by Jim O'Connor, 2016-01-28

Normally for Leinster the game at this time of year is a bit of a warm-up for key matches in the final two rounds of their European pool. However this season, the final two Champions Cup matches will be played only for Leinster's pride while tomorrow's game against the Ospreys is the key one. Last week's win at a drenched RDS put Leinster ahead of Connacht into second place in the table, just a point behind the Scarlets. With the Scarlets hosting Connacht this weekend, Leinster have a real chance to end the weekend as leaders, with a game in hand. As this is the last Pro12 game in which they'll have access to several of their top Irish internationals until after the Six Nations Championship, they need to make the most of their chance to beat the Ospreys.
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