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Leinster aiming to land No.1 seed

Thursday 16th January 2020

12:45 pm (GMT)

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Leinster aiming to land No.1 seed

Leinster's Dave Kearney celebrates scoring a try with James Lowe and Jordan Larmour

Leinster Rugby can clinch the No.1 seed in the Heineken Champions Cup with a win over Benetton Rugby on Saturday at Stadio Comunale di Monigo.

Even a four-point haul would be enough to secure a home quarter and semi-final, with the match in Treviso getting under way at 13:00 GMT and is live on BT Sport.

Match facts

  • Leinster have won all three of their clashes with Benetton in the Heineken Champions Cup.
  • Benetton won their last home game against Lyon in Round 4, and have the opportunity to record back-to-back wins at home in the competition for the first time since the 2004/05 season.
  • Leinster have lost just one of their last 21 pool games in the Heineken Champions Cup.
  • Leinster have scored eight tries in the opening quarter of games this season, more than any other side.
  • No player has scored more tries this season than Garry Ringrose (6, level with Teddy Thomas)

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Leinster clinch top seeding despite Benetton bravery

Saturday 18th January 2020

3:01 pm (GMT)

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Leinster clinch top seeding despite Benetton bravery

Leinster duly clinched top seeding and a home quarter-final in the Heineken Champions Cup by securing a 100 per cent record in Pool 1 with an 18-0 victory over a battling Benetton side in Treviso.

The Italian outfit gave as good as they got for long spells and is wasn’t until close to the hour mark that Leinster secured victory with the first of two tries in a six minute spell.

Benetton were also hit by a sin-binning for second-rower Irne Philip Herbst for obstruction two minutes into the second period.

As Leinster finally found their feet first number eight Caelan Doris plunged over after a dominant spell by the visitors’ pack which resulted from Benetton centre Angelo Esposito being trapped behind his own line.

Then as Leinster finally got the wind in their sails replacement James Tracy charged over from a driving maul and Ross Byrne, who also landed a second half penalty, converted to finally kill off the Benetton challenge.

The home side came out of the blocks quickly and dominated the opening stages but the tough-tackling Leinster defence managed to keep them at bay.

Leinster’s frustration at not being able to get into top gear was highlighted when Doris was sent to the sin-bin midway through the first half after repeated offending by the visitors.

But the Pool 1 winners enjoyed more territory as the half progressed and finally broke the deadlock when fly-half  Byrne was on target with a simple penalty five minutes before the interval and by the close had underlined their superiority.

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