Discussion in 'European Champions & Challenge Cup' started by The Alpha Bro, Apr 16, 2018.
Saturday, 21st April, Aviva Stadium
Get hype boys.
Treviso's whipping boy vs Edinburgh's victim.
Think Leinster should have the better of Scarlets, but I'm not nearly as certain as I was about them bearing Sarries. It's a tired expression but Scarlets could be a bogie team.
Henshaw is coming back, I'd expect this;.
RK, Ferg, Ringrose, Isa, Lowe, Sexton, McGrath, Conan, Leavy, Fardy, Ryan, Toner, Furlong, Cronin, Healy
Tracy, McGrath, Porter, Ruddock, O'Brien*, McCarthy, Henshaw, Carbery
*He's reported as '50/50' Deegan otherwise.
That's a mean bench, mean as ****. Leavy v Beirne will be an interesting battle, mad thing is that the best 16 starters are or were Leinster players! Ster by 406.
In all seriousness I am a little apprehensive about this game after last weekend and throwing away our home record. Last year I was certain we'd stroll by the Scarlets and they blitzed us due to our seconf horrific start to a semi final in a month and only Ringrose deciding to show up. Scarlets down Jo Davies and L Williams with us having gained Lowe, Fardy and Ryan has me confident though, think we'll take this by more than a try after a tense first hour.
One of the only positives from Saturday night's defeat to Benetton is that Robbie Henshaw took a full part in the pre-match warm up. If he's fit this weekend, it means Isa Nacewa goes to the wing which lessens the impact of James Lowe being left out due to a possible Luke McGrath injury. Lots of moving parts!
Possible team in that case:
Kearney, Larmour, Ringrose, Henshaw, Nacewa, Sexton, Gibson Park, Healy, Cronin, Furlong, Toner, Ryan, Fardy, Leavy Murphy
Tracy, McGrath, Porter, O'Brien, Conan, McCarthy, Carbery, McFadden
Shite, I missed McGrath being a doubt. That takes any box-kicking out of our game which could have been fruitful against the Scarlets wings. We don't lose that much on the wings if that's the case, Larmour isn't as good as Lowe as the game breaking option but Nacewa's attack over Ferg's somewhat makes up for that on the "solid" wing side.
I can't see Leinster picking two slow wingers so if Nacewa is on the wing, he'll need a more attacking player like Larmour or Lowe on the other. If Nacewa is in midfield, McFadden starts out wide IMO.
Yeah, no way those two start together. I think ideally we'd have the backline I posted, obviously hinging on McGrath coming through, because Henshaw has had a long break but otherwise Larmour has to come in. Ball retention will be key for us against a strong breakdown side, we won't get much change kicking with JGP and Larmour.
Key for Scarlets may be whether Steff & James Davies can rediscover their pre 6 nations form. Both have dipped a little, and both are key to the way Scarlets play.
The other wing position is also a worry atm. With McNicholl + Prydie etc. out, they're looking a little bare out wide. Wonder if they'll opt for the young Conbeer?
Can't remember if Ball is back fit up front? Could add a little extra ballast.
Should be a cracker of a match.
Wouldn't put O'Brien in the squad even if fit. He was clearly not fit last week and won't be at his best even off the bench. In contrast Deegan is on top form even when Leinster looked poor.
A nice dry run of the Pro14 final
As long as it's better than the last time these two met. I'd favour Scarlets at a neutral venue even without JD2. But the lack of wingers hurts doubly with Halfpenny at fullback - he is not going to pick up the creative slack and Leinster will have little to fear from the counter attack.
A fairly low scoring arm wrestle is my prediction and a one score game (hopefully not in the Ulster vs Ospreys sense of the term).
Must be terribly frustrating for the man himself but O'Brien hasn't looked to be in the right head space in his last couple of appearances. Seems to be trying to mind himself in the game. In my experience you get injured trying to do that. A few appearances off the bench when fit is what he needs. Throwing him in this week is asking for trouble.
Very capable 6 is Fardy but i'd rather see him in the second row on the weekend. Leavy and Jordi Murphy are guaranteed starters in my book. Fardy only plays at 6 if Conan and SOB don't make it. Deegan won't start.
A lot of uncertainty about Leinster's team from an injury POV.
Worst case scenario (nobody is fit) is probably: Healy, Cronin, Furlong, Toner, Ryan, Fardy, Leavy, Murphy, JGP, Sexton, Larmour, Nacewa, Ringrose, McFadden, Kearney with a a bench of: Tracy/Byrne, McGrath, Porter, Molony, Deegan, McCarthy, Carbery, Daly/Byrne.
If everyone is fully fit we could have: Healy, Cronin, Furlong, Ryan, Fardy, Murphy, Leavy, Conan, McGrath, Sexton, Lowe, Nacewa, Ringrose, McFadden/Larmour, Kearney, and McGrath, Tracy, Porter, Ruddock, SOB/Deegan, McCarthy, Carbery, Henshaw.
As others have said Nacewa and McFadden won't start together on the wings. The backrow can be swapped around depending on who's fit. McGrath's fitness is the key here. Nobody else is crucial so long as we get at least one backrow back to bench. Scarlets have their own injury problems as well especially on the wing it seems.
I think the winner of this game will probably win the final as well. So long as Luke McGrath is fit and and we avoid another bad start like last year we should probably be able to pull away in the third quarter and see it out from there. Should be a cracker either way.
We might have some horrendously **** and stuck up fans who don't cheer and tut at you when you go to get the fourth round in in Lyon or give out to you for not watching Wasps last conversion when they hammer us at the RDS when they have been quiet as a mouse all game, but they're our **** fans and only I get to insult them...
Really though, Ster must have the highest population of stuck up old wans in their bandwagon fan base in the world. If you want some knitting done just go to any Leinster ERCC or Munster game and they'll point you towards their housekeeper. I'm sound af though, not too posh and loud, the opposite of everything that is wrong with our fanbase, I'm not alone either.
So, in conclusion, Wayne Pivac, ******* fight me you knob.
Lads Im putting an end to it by stating it clearly. Leinster will win this by more that 14points. Yes Scarlets are a good team but there is a difference in class here. And Leinster are at home
SOB is definitely out. I'm getting worried about this now, we're so injured. I trust our three quarter line to tear them apart and while they'll get more turnovers than your average side playing Leinster it won't be enough to win the game directly off the back of it. Saturday is a test of our defence, if it has improved as much as it looks to have improved over the past 12 months we'll be golden but Exeter had a bit of joy with fast wingers, Scerlets have fast wingers and exploit space far better. I can't agree with Muff's possession, a gap of more than 10 would be a huge surprise to me.
Believe me Alpha. I called it right vs Sarries and I know I'm right here. If it's within 10 I'll be impressed.
There'll be 1 away winner and I'm saying I'll be sizzling while at it and I won't be going Aviva
I mean Scarlets were dead set to get creamed last year in the Pro12 Semi Final, then again weren't expected to win the final (according to the bookies anyway if I remember correctly), so I wouldn't write them off just yet MM!
They were something like 44/1 to win the Champions Cup this season after the first two round, so think they've shown the resilience needed to do well in the competition.
That said, I do probably expect Leinster to win, as they are comfortably the best side in the tournament so far, just I expect the Scarlets to be in it until the end. Leinster's injuries will be a bit of a wild card, but not like the Scarlets haven't got their own injury issues as well.
Hoping that they don't lose as many back 3 players as they did against La Rochelle, as that may hamper their expansive game. Or at the very least they'll decide against shoving James Davies on the wing and go with Patch at 15 with 1/2p on the wing...
Really looking forward to this game anyway, as we'll finally get a chance to see both sides playing at as full a strength as possible (not counting injuries of course) - something we've been deprived of in the league, with both games inexplicably falling during the 6N.
It really shouldn't be though. Bookmakers have a gap of 10 as par. One score either side of that margin shouldn't be a major surprise.
FWIW I agree with Muff.....Scarlets have every right to be confident but Leinsters form in this competition is bomb proof.
Looking at historical odds from last years game at the RDS, Leinster were on average 4/25 on to win, Scarlets 21/5
Handicap seemed to be set between -9.5 and -11.5 for Leinster as well.
Same for the final - Munster were 7/20 on to win and scarlets roughly 11/5, with the handicap being set around -6.5 / -7.5 for Munster.
Not saying Leinster don;t deserve to be favourites, just that the bookies have habit of underestimating the Scarlets!
What Dull said! We were -29 last week! I think we'll win but it won't be like Sarries where a couple short bursts playing near our best while letting their blunt attack waste time was more than enough. We won't have the luxury of comfortably playing without the ball.
I think we're favourites by virtue of the preferable venue but I don't think that translates to 10 points.
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