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Leinster looking to secure top spot

Thursday 12th December 2019

3:01 pm (GMT)

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Leinster looking to secure top spot

Ross Byrne in Heineken Champions Cup action for Leinster Rugby

Leinster Rugby can take a huge step towards the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals with a Pool 1 victory over Northampton Saints this weekend at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, live on Channel 4, Virgin Media, BT Sport and beIN SPORTS from 17:15 GMT.

The Irish province put in a terrific display last week to comfortably dispatch Northampton 43-17 at Franklin’s Gardens and a similar success would set Leinster up with a great chance of securing a home quarter-final.

Key quote

Leo Cullen (Leinster Rugby): “We’ve been in this situation before where we’ve had a big win in Northampton and gone back to the Aviva been beaten. You have to be so careful with these fixtures. Normally, it’s just onto the next team. It’s a unique thing that takes place in the season where there’s head-to-head fixtures. It doesn’t always transfer into the following week. We’ve seen that first-hand ourselves in this exact fixture where we’ve had a win – similar to what we had on Saturday – and then go back to the Aviva the following week and Northampton were very clever that day.”

Key facts

  • Leinster have won their last 14 home games in the tournament, with their last such defeat inflicted by RC Toulon in Round 4 of the 2015/16 season.
  • Leinster have won their last nine pool games against Gallagher Premiership opposition in the Heineken Champions Cup at an average margin of 24 points.
  • No side has scored more tries than Leinster (13, also Racing 92) after three rounds this season. Saints, meanwhile, have kicked the most penalty goals (12).
  • Northampton have landed 17/18 kicks at goal, giving them the best goalkicking accuracy rate (94%). Dan Biggar has taken all 18 of those kicks.
  • Leinster have made the most tackles (488) to date, and Josh van der Flier tops the individual charts with 55, level with Ospreys’ Olly Cracknell.
  • Northampton’s Rory Hutchinson has missed the most tackles (11) this season, but only one of those misses led directly to an opposition try.
  • Dan Biggar (46) is the top points scorer after three rounds (5 conversions, 12 penalty goals).

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Seven-try Leinster dominate Northampton Saints

Saturday 14th December 2019

7:26 pm (GMT)

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Seven-try Leinster dominate Northampton Saints

Who is this scoring for Leinster Rugby?

Leinster Rugby were at their blistering best as they scored seven tries in a 50-21 Heineken Champions Cup Pool 1 win over Northampton Saints at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday night.

Garry Ringrose gave Leinster the perfect start as he scored two tries in the first seven minutes but Northampton would respond with a try of their own.

It was Andy Symons with a terrific driving run who popped the ball up to Dan Biggar and he dotted down in front of the posts before converting his own score.

Leinster added a third try soon after with a driving maul that was simply too powerful for Northampton as Tadhg Furlong was driven over the line and they got a fourth – bringing up the bonus point – on 37 minutes after Dave Kearney worked the overlap to score.

Northampton did launch a response just before the break after some excellent work from Lewis Ludlam who intercepted and sprinted all the way into the Leinster 22. The ball then reached Ahsee Tuala and he found a gap in the line before giving to Ollie Speights who scored at the posts.

The second half continued in the same vein for the Irish province as Leinster bagged tries through James Lowe, Caelan Doris and Ringrose who grabbed a Heineken Champions Cup hat-trick while Northampton got a score of their own through Tuala.

Leinster – who are the first team to reach the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals – will take on Lyon in Round 5 while Northampton Saints will host Benetton Rugby.

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