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Leinster Rugby have the opportunity to extend their hex on Pool 3 on Saturday afternoon as they seek to back up last weekend’s 18-8 victory over reigning Aviva Premiership champions Exeter Chiefs as the side lock horns once again at the Aviva Stadium, live on BT Sport.
- The Irish province claimed a hard-fought victory at Sandy Park courtesy of a late Jack Conan score to end a 17-match unbeaten run in Devon for Exeter Chiefs, who now find themselves six points adrift of the Pool leaders.
- Triumph in the south of England means Leinster Rugby have now won all three of their encounters with Exeter Chiefs, who will be desperate to right the wrongs of last weekend and revive their hopes of making the knockout stages of the European Rugby Champions Cup.
- Last weekend’s attritional affair is expected to be repeated in Dublin, but Leinster Rugby lead the way at the breakdown in Pool 3 having won 349 rucks, while Exeter Chiefs flanker Don Armand has won 20 line outs, more than any player in the Champions Cup this season.
- Victory could see Leinster Rugby move as far as 11 points clear at the Pool 3 summit, which would secure a quarter-final berth with two rounds left to play, although should Montpellier beat Glasgow Warriors earlier in the day that gap could be lowered to just six points; meanwhile, an Exeter Chiefs win would blow the Pool wide open again.
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Leinster Rugby tightened their grip on European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 3 with a tense 22-17 triumph over Exeter Chiefs in a classic continental encounter at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
- Scrum-half Luke McGrath scored the lone try of the match for the hosts in Dublin 14 minutes from time as Leinster Rugby completed back-to-back victories over the reigning Aviva Premiership champions to move five points clear at the Pool 3 summit and one step closer to a quarter-final berth.
- Exeter Chiefs came out with vengeance as they sought to right their Round 3 wrongs, with lock Sam Skinner crossing in the opening try of the match just three minutes in.
- Isa Nacewa reduced the Leinster Rugby deficit by three from the kicking tee, before a fiercely-contested affair heated up with the home side reduced to 14 men as Cian Healy was shown a yellow card.
- Exeter Chiefs were unable to make their numerical advantage pay, but Gareth Steenson did push the visitors further in front before the break with a penalty kick as well as a conversion as Luke Cowan-Dickie forced his way over the whitewash as the visitors took a 17-9 lead into the break, with Nacewa penalties the lone Leinster riposte.
- In an attritional affair, Nacewa continued to chip away for Leinster Rugby, adding another two three-pointers to bring the hosts within two points of Exeter Chiefs.
- McGrath clinched victory, much to the delight of a raucous Dublin crowd, after an excellent break from Dan Leavy released the Leinster Rugby scrum-half to dive over the line.
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