Monday, April 15, 2019

Champions Cup Semifinal Weekend Preview

European Professional Club Rugby Champions Cup 
Semifinal Weekend Preview

As one may have expected, the cream has risen and the final quartet of players, Saracens and Munster, Leinster and Toulouse will be finalizing the championships bill this weekend. 

The Pro 14s Group A runnersup, the club that calls Thomond Park home, aka Munster, pops over to the big island for a derby with Saracens at the Ricoh. Sarries were merciless in their dispatch of Glasgow last round and they did it without Owen Farrell, who was rested last week, but you betcha the England 10 will be primed for Saturday’s battle against the Irish Province.

And then there’s Leinster v Toulouse. Each lead their respective competitions, though Leinster have been without their talisman, Jonathan Sexton, for the past month and the flyhalf is yet questionable for Sunday’s semifinal at the RDS. However, Ross Byrne, has been standing in for the premier standoff in good form. Toulouse are coming off a heady league victory v the French14s number 2 last week and this upcoming test may catch the Frenchmen at the pinnacle of their expressive arc one could think; meanwhile Leinster were letting in three trys in the last 20 minutes to enable the Glasgow comeback victory in Dublin. Each had a difficult time in their quarterfinal matchups with Toulouse on the trot at La Défense only pipping Racing 92 by a point and Leinster relying on a 71st-minute Byrne penalty strike for the margin of victory over Ulster. Gonna be large in a big way.

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