European Champions Cup Semi Final Toulon vs Leinster

Discussion in 'European Champions & Challenge Cup' started by big ginger 8, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. big ginger 8

    big ginger 8 International

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    KO 16:15
    19/4/15
    Stade Velodrome​





    Preliminary (29-man) Toulon squad:

    Forwards: Chiocci, Menini, Fresia, Orioli, Guirado, Burden, Hayman, Chilachava, Castrogiovanni, Suta, Taofifenua, Williams, Botha, Gorgodze, J.Smith, S. Armitage, Fernandez Lobbe, Masoe.

    Backs: Tillous-Borde, Claassens, Escande, Michalak, Giteau, Wulf, Bastareaud, Mitchell, Habana, D. Armitage, Halfpenny.

    Some reports that Armitage may be unfit. No idea how Halfpenny can be back in just a week after a 'minor' dislocation. It'll surely be tested. Looks like Michalak at 10 thankfully.

    For Leinster, Douglas is definitely out which is no surprise, Jennings is doubtful and McFadden is available.
     
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  3. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

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    I was somewhat hopeful for this prior to last weekend. Prediction: Toulon 31-12 Leinster. It's going to be so frustrating considering how beatable this side are.
     
  4. gaston le gaff

    gaston le gaff First XV

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    depends they could well use Giteau at 10 but must say although i am not a great fan of Michalak he has been playing good since his come back from the shoulder injury, still out of the 29 named, they should be able to stick a half decent team on paper, cant wait as i have been invited...............

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    The only way Leinster can win is to get points on the board early this is probably Toulon's only weak point, trying to come back from say a 10/15 point deficit as they are very strong at the finish. but good luck all the same i think it could be a cracker.
     
  5. munstermuffin

    munstermuffin Hall of Fame

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    Lads. Leinster will win this. Munster could've beaten Toulon last year and well I think Leinster's pack will be in better stead. MOC isn't liked by the fans fair enough. But the players back him and regardless they will all pull together for a big occasion like Sunday. I think Leinster by between 3 & 8 points.
     
  6. lynam1104

    lynam1104 First XV

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    Why are you so restlessly optimistic about Leinster Muffin? We're toast. Our season is toast and frankly at this point i'm more concerned about getting into the bloody cup next year than winning it this year.

    I've seen quotes which indicate that the coaching staff think that the gameplan almost worked last year. Thats as damming at some form of incompetence as you could find. Also seen MOC say "you can only play the game that the opposition lets you" which is not how a champion team views that sort of thing.
     
  7. munstermuffin

    munstermuffin Hall of Fame

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    Just a big believer in Irish systems here. I think ye will win and I'm not saying that as a fan or hope. I've a strong feeling ye will get the win. I think Leinsters big game players can outperform their big game players. And as bad as the tactics ye have are I do think it's possible that it's how ye will win by frustrating them and dragging them down to your level
     
  8. corny

    corny Bench Player

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    If Leinster survive at the breakdown they'll have a chance, and only a small chance. If, and this is far more likely, they get knocked backwards and come under fierce pressure at the breakdown they'll lose.

    We don't have the half backs to play territory and negate their strengths. Gopperth, Madigan, Reddan, Boss, they've all been kicking appallingly of late.

    Objectively there's only one winner but the likes of Seanie, Healy and Heaslip won't take a backward step and maybe they can keep us in it long enough to make them nervous.
     
  9. goodNumber10

    goodNumber10 International

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    I agree. Leinster are the only team I can see traveling to Toulon in the European knockouts and getting a win.

    They are just a side that can rise to it, much like Munster used to be before they went gash.
     
  10. gaston le gaff

    gaston le gaff First XV

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    Leinster may be able to rise to the occaision but Toulon certainly can as well, and with 60,000+ fans behind them i think it will be a mere impossible task for Leinster + the very fact that Toulon if they win will have the possibility to win 3 finals in a row never been done before,that is incentive enough i think. Përsonnally can't wait i thing the game could be massive in many areas and we could be in for a real treat i have always admired Leinster over Munster as they always played better 15 man rugby, but as i am nearly a neutral and will be there hoping for a great encounter.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015
  11. munstermuffin

    munstermuffin Hall of Fame

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    Gaston the intimidation of fans won't bother Leinster. Yes they have incentive of 3 in a row but I think Leinster have dog in them. If Munster were there this weekend I'd believe we'd win too. As GN10 said Leinster just have that something that may work. You can't write them off and I think they have the bit of dog in them.
     
  12. Tony Manx

    Tony Manx TRF Season Ticket Holder

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    You got to love the fact that a Munster man is talking up a Leinster club that their supporters are talking down nearly as much as I do Biarritz!!

    I have to go with the Leinster fans on this one and believe that they are not the standard that they were and will fall narrowly short against a Toulon side showing signs of getting back their form!!! Big Ewis would have been all over the return to form of Michalack being instrumental in this!!!
     
  13. gaston le gaff

    gaston le gaff First XV

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    I dont think its intimadation, it is a well know fact that with the noise of 60,000+ behind Toulon it will encourage more Toulon than work against Leinster, i still think it will be close and i certainly are not writing them off, the end result does have little bearing on myself i will support Toulon as they are a French club "normal" but if Leinster win good luck to them all i want is a great game...........and maybe the dog will come to the top who knows we will see on Sunday looking forward to it!!!!!!
     
  14. goodNumber10

    goodNumber10 International

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    yeah, i dont' think the 60,000 thing is to be underestimated, but if i had to put money on a team being able to deal with it it'd be Leinster.

    either way fingers crossed it's a great game.
     
  15. TheSaffycen

    TheSaffycen First XV

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    The problem that Leinster will have Is that Toulon can't be stopped if they get through 1 tackle. That's it. Just one missed tackle and then the likes or Armitage, Gorgodze,Basta,Guirado just keep coming and then they have the pace in the backs to finish every opportunity. People say Toulon are for the taking but they elated THE big game team, they look poor against little teams because I just think they don't care. They can stay in 3rd gear and still win by 15. As a Saracens fan I can tell you that it's awful. You start strongly, get a 3/6 point lead and then the game changes and you never get a foot hold.
    I think Leinster have a big fitness advantage though, they need to make that big pack move from side to side, backwards and forwards. If I was Leinster just stay within 5 points, then try and pounce when it gets late. If you go ahead then Toulon will start playing in 5th gear and they will score 10 points so easily it's scary. Who knows this isn't the best Toulon team, but this is possibly the worst Leinster team for the last 10 years.
     
  16. The Alpha Bro

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    I think most people are overestimating Leinster here, if they were playing bad rugby but winning like last year it'd be different, although Toulon still smashed they're back doors in. Fact is that currently Leinster are a bad rugby team being coached to the one step forward and two back, if they get a lead I'm sure they'll give it up easy. A team that crawled out of the weakest group and required on Bath's implosion to beat them at home won't beat Toulon, the only game I could see Leinster winning of the remaining teams is home to Sarries who's style of play wouldn't be best suited to beating them.
     
  17. lynam1104

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    Saffycen is right on Toulon once they get through the first tackle you're done. Given that Leinster's most common mode of defence this year has been missing first up tackles I think its safe to say we're done.

    People are talking up Leinster's ability like it's 2012. This team does not have the mettle to go to Toulon and win like the 2012 team did in Clermount. The players who brought that to the team are gone; BOD, Cullen, Jennings, Thorne and probably at this point most importantly Sexton. They're all massive players for whom winning was in their blood and thus Leinster's. In their place we have Murphy, Toner, McCarty Te'o and Gopperth. No slaggin off these players ability but they're a step down from the aforementioned players both in terms of ability and mentality. I see no scenario where Leinster win this game.
     
  18. corny

    corny Bench Player

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    I think certain people haven't actually watched Leinster recently.

    The cliched version of Leinster being a team for the big occasion is exactly that...a cliche; and a bad one at that. Don't get me wrong they'll lift their performance and work manfully but you can't gloss over the deficiencies that have crept in under MOC. Leinster carry no threat with ball in hand anymore, their phase play is weak and their kicking game is a shambles. Add in the defensive frailties that are evident every week now and you have a team out of their depth. As if that wasn't enough the Bath game demonstrated how low on confidence this team actually are.

    I'll tune expectantly as always on Sunday but realistically if Toulon show up they'll kill Leinster.
     
  19. Groundhog

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    I'll say this. A loose kicking game and allowing Toulon to play the game on their own terms (offloading out of the tackle, keeping the ball alive and creating broken field, which really hurt them vs Bath) will be Leinster's death. They need to extremely agressive defensively, contest Toulon's rucks to slow their game down and work an early lead. If Toulon have a nine point lead at half time, they're very hard to come back at given the class they can bring off the bench. They usually use that buffer to allow themselves to play rugby and are liable to turn the screw.
    They're far from bulletproof and certainly beatable, but it would take a level of performance that Leinster haven't shown to my memory this season, certainly not in Europe anyway. They have the talent on paper, but a lack of ball carrying ballast in the tight, poor game management, halfbacks that blow hot and cold as well as playing away from Leinster's traditional strengths are causing this monumental underperformance. I can't lay the blame at MO'Cs door exlusively as there's a real lack of on field leadership when the chips are down, and he's spent much of his time missing a few key men, but there's no excuse for an ineffective gameplan.
     
  20. Groundhog

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    The Leinster Team To Play Toulon:
    1. Cian Healy
    2. Sean Cronin
    3. Mike Ross
    4. Devin Toner
    5. Mike McCarthy
    6. Jordi Murphy
    7. Sean O’Brien
    8. Jamie Heaslip
    9. Isaac Boss
    10. Jimmy Gopperth
    11. Luke Fitzgerald
    12. Ian Madigan
    13. Ben Te’o
    14. Fergus McFadden
    15. Rob Kearney


    Replacements:

    16. Richardt Strauss
    17. Jack McGrath
    18. Marty Moore
    19. Ben Marshall
    20. Dominic Ryan
    21. Eoin Reddan
    22. Gordon D’Arcy
    23. Zane Kirchner


    The Toulon Team To Player Leinster:

    1. Xavier Chiocci
    2. Guilhem Guirado
    3. Carl Hayman
    4. Bakkies Botha
    5. Ali Williams
    6. Juan Smith
    7. Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe
    8. Chris Masoe
    9. Sebastian Tillous Borde
    10 Freddie Michalak
    11. Bryan Habana
    12. Matt Giteau
    13. Mathieu Bastareaud
    14. Delon Armitage
    15. Leigh Halfpenny


    Replacements:

    16. Alexandre Menini
    17. Jean-Charles Orioli
    18. Levan Chilachava
    19. Jocelino Suta
    20. Steffon Armitage
    21. Michael Claassens
    22. Rudi Wulf
    23. Drew Mitchell
     
  21. TheSaffycen

    TheSaffycen First XV

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    If Michalak has a bad game Leinster can definitely win this, all you need is for you guys to play the game of the season.
    Looking at the packs Toulon have 4 genuine lineout options and are a good scrummaging side. Leinster look to have a tackling back row, personally I would've started Ryan as he seems to make gainline hits but then haven't seen him for a few weeks. In the backs If on form Toulon will win it, simple as really.
     
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