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Heineken Cup Semi Final: Clermont vs Leinster - 29/04/12

Feicarsinn

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Stade Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux - (29/04/2012 -16:00FST, 17:00BST)

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psychic duck

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Who remembers the last match between these sides in a Heineken Cup knockout round?

it was a great match, and it provided one of the most famous chokes in Heineken Cup history by Brock James, he missed 23 points that day (4 penalties, 1 conversion, 3 drop goals), he only needed just one of those to go over and Clermont Auvergne would have won

Clermont Auvergne should have won that match, but Leinster were just cooler under pressure

out of interest that game pretty much destroyed James' confidence for over a year, he was quality before this match but hasn't been the same player since, and has been kept out of the Clermont side by David Skrela (who is pants) this season for the important games, but recently he had a great match against Saracens and looks to regained form so it will be very interesting to see how he goes

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/2M1vtpp1IIk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe>
 

big ginger 8

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Cannot wait for this.
 

lynam1104

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This is going to be a huge game i can't see anything other a fantastic contest which will likely go down to the wire. Clermont have the Home advantage, but Leinster have the form advantage ether way can't wait.
 

SelimNiai

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Gutting. Sky and Internet being removed from my flat as my flatmate is leaving on Friday so will miss the game
 

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lucky number 7

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I'm hopefully going to enjoy this game
 

lucky number 7

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Sneaky Naggins !!! Don't be a bloody sausage and miss the game over sillyness.

What day is it actually?
 

big ginger 8

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Look at the odds that's how clos it is. I'm amazed Leinster are favourites when it's in France.
 

Feicarsinn

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The scrum will be massive for us on the weekend. Should we be able to hold our own up front, we may be able to get out of there with something. You'd imagine that the second row will be very close, with Cudmore and Hines supplying tonnes of grit and cuteness to go against Leo and Brad. After the performance of our line out over the past few weeks I'd be tempted to throw Toner in for Cullen. People might say that bringing Locky into the back row should solidify the set piece, but the effect isn't the same as having a proper line out specialist in there.

The back row battle will be immense. From a Leinster perspective if it remains dry I'd play Jennings at 7 and O'Brien at 6. If it's wet, O'Brien could easily go to the openside. Either way, with Vermeulen, Lapandry and Bonnaire on the opposite side the boys will have to be on the top of their game.

Half backs are quite even. Parra is better than either of our scrum halves while Sexton is far superior to either James or Skrela. We could shade it here, but again, it's on a knife edge.

I'd be worried about the midfield if Drico hadn't come back in such sensational form. Once again, I wouldn't like to call the contest here. Fofana is probably better than either D'arcy or McFadden, but there isn't a better 13 around than Drico and Rougerie doesn't look the player he was two years ago. I'd say the French guys are bigger, but our pair are smarter.

Both of the back three's are insanely good as well. We have a clear advantage at full back, but don't have a finisher of the calibre of Sivivatu. I think Fitzgerald and Nacewa are better all round players than their two wide guys, but lack some of the try scoring ability.

There's so little to choose in this one. I really can't call it. Anyway, here's the Leinster team I'd like to see:

15) Rob Kearney
14) Isa Nacewa
13) Brian O'Driscoll
12) Gordon D'arcy
11) Luke Fitzgerald
10) Johnny Sexton
9) Eoin Reddan
8) Jamie Heaslip
7) Shane Jennings
6) Sean O'Brien
5) Brad Thorn
4) Devin Toner
3) Mike Ross
2) Richardt Strauss
1) Cian healy

Bench: Sean Cronin, Nathan White, Heinke Van Der Merwe, Leo Cullen, Kevin McLaughlin, Isaac Boss, Ian Madigan, Fergus McFadden

Bring it!
 

big ginger 8

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Presuming Thorn and Cullen start for Leinster and Cudmore and Hines for Clermont.

Leinster's 2nd row will have a combined age of 71 while Clermont will be 68.

Scrum will be very interestin. We did well he lastime we played and I'm confident of us hoding our own at least with any scrum in Europe but Clermont are a hell of a scrummaging unit.
 

welshglory

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Yea you should drop Cullen for Toner i've never been impressed by him, if anything he's holding you back as a side
 

TRF Mr Fish

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I'd love to see Clermont win this, but that's one solid Leinster team.
 

psychic duck

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David Skrela is out of this match ....


that should make it a much better game now

:i-m_so_happy:
 

snoopy snoopy dog dog

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I think Brock James is a much better flyhalf than Skrela but the French international's absence seriously diminishes the strength of their bench.
 

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A bit off topic, but I've seen his situation a few times and I don't understand it: why are both odds greater than evens? If it was possible, someone could bet on both and make money for sure... not a very good business if vbookie was with real cash...

edit: apparently it's because they're taken from oddschecker, and some sites give ASM as favourites and some Leinster. Actually, there is money to be made by betting for Clermont in boylesports and for Leinster in sportingbet. I guess I'm wrong somewhere, though, somebody would have noticed and played Madoff.
 
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big ginger 8

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Also James' history counts in our favour.
 

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