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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: Leinster Rugby vs Scarlets

by Jim O'Connor, 2015-11-05

In their last Pro12 match before the Champions Cup starts next week, Leinster take on league leaders the Scarlets at the RDS tomorrow evening. The Scarlets were undoubtedly the winners of the World Cup in terms of the Pro12, racking up six wins from six. It wasn't like they were unaffected by the World Cup as seven of their players were over there and they had their fair share of injuries too. But coach Wayne Pivac has managed his resources really well to maintain a consistency of performance to grind out results when needed but also showing some of the flair rugby the Scarlets are renown for. An example of this would be Phil John's first try last week against the Dragons which is well worth checking out on YouTube as it featured a remarkable number of offloads in the build-up.
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Match Preview: Benetton Treviso vs Leinster Rugby

by Jim O'Connor, 2015-10-30

When this match is played the World Cup will be over and what a wonderful tournament it's been, in many peoples book, the best ever. It hasn't been too bad a tournament for Leo Cullen either. When he saw his under-strength team badly beaten away to Edinburgh in his first match in charge, he probably would have taken three wins from the first six games. Last week's scrappy but gutsy win over Glasgow meant he's already achieved that target. A win on Sunday should get Leinster into the top four for the first time this season, with four of the teams ahead of them playing each other, Ulster v Munster and Connacht v Edinburgh.
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Match Preview: Leinster Rugby vs Glasgow Warriors

by Jim O'Connor, 2015-10-22

Well it was Déjà vu all over again!

Just like in 2003 and 2011 Ireland went into a quarter-final of the World Cup with the whole country watching in excited anticipation.

And just like then, the whole bandwagon had fallen apart two hours later on the back of a comprehensive defeat.

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Match Preview: Scarlets vs Leinster Rugby

by Jim O'Connor, 2015-10-15

Leinster travel over to Llanelli to take on the Scarlets having seen their representation of players at the World Cup increase to 19. Rhys Ruddock and Mike McCarthy joined up with the Ireland squad during the week and while everyone at Leinster will be pleased for the lads individually, it doesn't make Leo Cullen's job any easier for the next three weeks. It's been further compounded by a number of injuries to forwards so that of the 30 forwards listed in the Leinster senior squad, 17 of them are currently unavailable.
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