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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Leinster looking strong as they beat Saracens at the RDS

Leinster looking strong as they beat Saracens at the RDS

Another weekend of European action has come to an end so over the next week well be looking back at the best games, as well as some noteworthy moments. This post features Leinsters good win over Saracens on Saturday as they beat them 43-20 to progress to the quarter finals.

It was an impressive showing from Leinster, who pulled away in the second half with some lovely tries and devastating finishing. Sean OBrien, Dominic Ryan, Fergus McFadden, Isa Nacewa, and Eoin OMalley all scored as the home side took this Pool Two Heineken Cup clash.

"I thought we got off to a fantastic start," said Leinster coach Joe Schmidt.

"The first two tries we scored were superb. Conditions were very tough out there and to get the 12 points up was fantastic but then to allow them back into the game so easily into the gale, was very, very frustrating.

"I'm delighted to get the result we did and delighted with some of the play that we managed to construct and finish to get the six tries. At the same time, we know it wasn't a perfect performance and Saracens probably lost a little bit of interest toward the middle part of the second half," he added.

Sean OBrien, Isa Nacewa, and Richardt Strauss all played crucial roles in what was at times a highly impressive display from the Irish side. Jonny Sexton and Brian ODriscoll also showed their class all afternoon, both looking in good form ahead of the Six Nations.

For Saracens, Gavin Henson limped off with a calf injury which could prove to be a bad blow for his Six Nations ambitions with Wales.

Highlights and other clips from the weekend will be featured in due course. If there's anything in particular you spotted that you think should be shared here on the site, please get in touch via email or post a request on the forum .


Time: 04:14

Posted at 9:51 pm | 56 comments

Viewing 56 comments

Anonymous January 16, 2011 10:00 pm

first

lol leinster back row can actually play and run like backs :)

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Anonymous January 16, 2011 10:08 pm

strongest looking heineken cup side this year i'd say. also they have a huge number of young, homegrown, very talented players. leinster's future looks very good right now

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Anonymous January 16, 2011 10:09 pm

sarries are a shite side. IT just makes Leinster look better than they really are.......

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Anonymous January 16, 2011 10:10 pm

Leinster truly are a quality side.

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Anonymous January 16, 2011 10:12 pm

Any SH club could beat them no problem HAHA

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Keith January 16, 2011 10:13 pm

'sarries are a shite side. IT just makes Leinster look better than they really are.......'

So what about the clermont game a couple of weeks back?? Leinster are a quality, quality side no doubt about that. although i agree sarries are a weak side along with the majority of the Aviva Premiership, but you have to play what is in front of you

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Anonymous January 16, 2011 10:15 pm

imagine the Magners League was incorporated with the Aviva Premiership... the England teams would just get shat on. I mean look at the strength of the Irish sides and the Welsh ones. Hell, even the Scottish teams would beat half of the premiership most of the time.

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Anonymous January 16, 2011 10:16 pm

saracens are 2nd in the Premiership? must be a pretty porr standard of rugby in england.

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Anonymous January 16, 2011 10:16 pm

Leinsters off loading in the tackel is superb, thats were most of their tries cam from, by keeping the ball alive and not giving the opposition a chance to set their defence. Truely class from the Leinster men and this is from a Munster supporter!!

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KG January 16, 2011 10:19 pm

A couple of weeks ago I said if Leinster developed an offloading game they would be deadly. That's exactly what they've done and they are the strongest I've ever seen them.

Not only are their backs exceptional this year (even more than normal Leinster backs), but the forwards are at just as high a standard. Leinster could make up pretty much the full Irish 15. Their players are also really young and from the area... they're pretty well set for the next few years.

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Anonymous January 16, 2011 10:21 pm

I would love to see Leinster vs. a souther hemi. club. Why isn't their anything like that? That would be great.

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Anonymous January 16, 2011 10:21 pm

Anonymous said...
imagine the Magners League was incorporated with the Aviva Premiership... the England teams would just get shat on. I mean look at the strength of the Irish sides and the Welsh ones. Hell, even the Scottish teams would beat half of the premiership most of the time.

How many welsh sides are left in the HC?

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JAY January 16, 2011 10:27 pm

haha none. scarlets and dragons arent great sides but i'd say ospreys would beat any premeiership team easily.

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obrienisking January 16, 2011 10:38 pm

Great support play from Leinster.

This Sean O'Brien guy is too good. Has to be first choice 7 for Ireland from now on. Ferris, Heaslip, O'Brien.....god that's good.

Dominic Ryan is looking great too, and should get some game time during the 6 nations. Time to forget Leamy and start using Wallace as an impact.

Seemed like Fitzy was at fault for all the tries though. Hopefully he's just a bit rusty from his injury, because usuallly he's brilliant defensively.

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Anonymous January 16, 2011 10:45 pm

I wouldn't worry about Fitzgerald. Definitely just a bit rusty.

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Anonymous January 16, 2011 11:05 pm

leinster play like a southern hemisphere side they dont concentrate on scrum or lineout they just try and make sure theyre not dominated in those areas and then rip teams apart in open play. dominic ryan is basically south african just a slightly smaller quicker version of juan smith.

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Anonymous January 16, 2011 11:16 pm

My god what a load of bollox you all chat

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Anonymous January 16, 2011 11:26 pm

Nacewa's step was unreal.

Quality player.

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Ronan January 16, 2011 11:41 pm

great game by leinster, great atmosphere, great win, anyone know what happend to darcey? any news about sexy and heaslip heading to play frog rugby? hate to see them leave our shores.

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mise January 16, 2011 11:43 pm

Nverything about that Nacewa try was excellent - incl all the build up play.
Still, Northampton look excellent at the moment too.
Not sure about Toulon, even after today.

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Anonymous January 16, 2011 11:54 pm

wish it showed o'malleys break on his way to scoring the try. had a hint of the young bod.

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Anonymous January 16, 2011 11:57 pm

i mean especially with the step on the fullback. its rare to see nh players beat another 1 on 1 dead on with a step like that.

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Anonymous January 17, 2011 12:04 am

pity sextons pass to o'mally was edited out was the skill that helped make that try gave him the extra inch then nice step to finish!! pity strauss is a year away from irish qualification could do with him for 6N and world cup with flannerys and best injury concerns.
darcy a calf strain no news yet! fitz has had a year of injury so we will let him off with the poor performance shows how good the coach is with munster paul went in on reputation and was showen up mc fadden is the form back and deserved the start on the wing infront of fitz just darcys injury got fitz in. come on leinster final could be a possibility i have my ticket :)

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Anonymous January 17, 2011 12:08 am

last post 15!! is a SH player and we have a good SH coach but that doesn't mean NH don't do it stretele and fitz do it all the time watch the step on fitz against warick in the munster leinster semi final pure class as well its just contrasting styles but we are catching up! leinster are mixing both we have the grit from cheika and the skill from bod and the rest with schmit

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Xavier January 17, 2011 12:20 am

true that irish sides are looking good at the momment, but I'd think twice before saying english sides are ALL crap. I mean, Northampton and Leicester... need I say more?

Also, Ireland has 4 teams. Well, actually, 2 and a half, Ulster being half and Connacht the placebo in this experiment (hey, every experiment needs a control group!). So pretty much 2 teams for the whole of irish talent. England's share of talent is a bit more divided betweend quite a lot of places, including some in France.

Still, I would NOT want to face an irish side this HC

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Sillyboy January 17, 2011 1:02 am

Absolutely beautiful step by the 15 for his try, had me fooled and I was only watching lol. Great play by Leinster, they did well to beat the sarries... Who beat SA a year ago.... Oops did I just step on some toes?

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Anonymous January 17, 2011 1:04 am

xavier, ulster are a full team, ferris, best, trimble with a few young lads coming up too. i reckon theyll make quarter finals this year.

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Anonymous January 17, 2011 1:17 am

i really hope some day i get to kiss the feet of somebody from the southern hemisphere

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Anonymous January 17, 2011 1:18 am

d'arcy pulled his calf or something an hour or two before the game. the back line had to be reshuffled last minute and they played like that? damn

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Anonymous January 17, 2011 1:20 am

O' Malley has a nasty step. He had one moment against Clermont which just amazed me. He was surrounded by three players and managed to step right into the middle of them all and then step back out, sideways, and around them all. he had 0 space. The guy is an amazing runner. McFadden and O Malley could be a brilliant centre pairing in the future

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Alexander January 17, 2011 3:04 am

haha and so the anti-englishness commences it seems...

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Anonymous January 17, 2011 9:34 am

@ Alexander
"haha and so the anti-englishness commences it seems..."

I didn't notice much anti-englishness [sic] in the comments above. But I'm surprise there weren't more with imbecilic inaccuracies like...

@Xavier
"pretty much 2 teams for the whole of irish talent. England's share of talent is a bit more divided betweend quite a lot of places"

Irelands population - 4.5m, England's Population - 50m. Irish top level pro teams - 4, English teams - 12. Pro rata? Ireland ~1.1m per team, England ~4.1m. Eh, think you'll find that English teams are not spreading their talent thin - that'd be Irish teams doing that. Twat

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Colombes January 17, 2011 9:56 am

Nice victory from Leinster. i like the way they give a lot of rythm in their matchs.
According to me, Leinster, Toulouse, Northampton (and maybe Biarritz) are the most serious sides of this Hcup

But, i always don't know how to judge irish provinces perfs as hcup is their only objective of the year, not necessarly for others.
Sorry for magners league, but the interest of this championship is more a training camp than a competition... in an other hand, premiership is a competition where every club can defeat an other and top14 is still the major and historical objective of the season for a french club

The money gap will be resoluted soon as top14 will install a salary cap, but the fitness gap still appears in this hcup

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Enough January 17, 2011 10:34 am

What a step!

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Nick January 17, 2011 10:42 am

'Irelands population - 4.5m, England's Population - 50m. Irish top level pro teams - 4, English teams - 12. Pro rata? Ireland ~1.1m per team, England ~4.1m. Eh, think you'll find that English teams are not spreading their talent thin - that'd be Irish teams doing that. Twat'

That is the dumbest use of stats I've seen for a while. Using a really simplistic breakdown like this doesn't take into account things like game popularity in the area, the numbers of youth players, then those youth players that convert into senior players. You may have heard of football, it's quite popular in England and runs alongside the rugby season, so the majority of your population breakdown are involved in that. While you're at it remember that all the unions except the English heavily finance there regional teams and they only have 4 or less to support.

The reality is all nations represented have a couple of top teams. After the ranting above about the Welsh and Irish having better teams, it looks likely no welsh team will qualify and one of Irelands powerhouses wont either. If you look at the scores throughout the pool stages it also shows the matches are getting harder and teams that would have previously been viewed as weak are coming up. No one would have put Ulster in this position a few years ago and Northampton were in D1 about 4/5 years ago.

That's the beauty of this comp it can throw in a few shockers (Arioni over Biarritz!) and it really comes down to what happens on the day. That being said, I can't see anyone turning over this Leinster team in this run of form.

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Anonymous January 17, 2011 10:47 am

@Nick

Dumber than Xavier's completely false comparison that it was in (part) answer to? Effectively he was saying Irish sides only do well because they have fewer teams compared to England. Utter rubbish.

You can't have a go at the response without looking at the idiotic false statement that preceded it.

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Anonymous January 17, 2011 10:51 am

@Nick

Football? You may not have heard of Gaelic & Hurling - two sports that rank above Rugby & Soccer in Ireland. Rugby is the 4th choice sport there. So your idiotic spouting that Football takes away from Rugby players in England is meaningless.

Ireland (& Wales & Scotland) also don't get Sky's money or Sugar Daddies supporting them. So, again, you comparison is arse about face

By playing population, Ireland producing 4 teams that compete in Euro competition is good going compared to England's possible 12

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Flipje January 17, 2011 11:14 am

Leinster what a team!!!!!

Currently I rate them the best Hcup team by a mile. Very nice to see them play.

Toulouse, Northampton or Leiscester follow but have not showed yet the same consistency in their gameplay.

If their players survive the 6 nations period, I honestly wonder who can beat them (specially at home).

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Anonymous January 17, 2011 12:42 pm

A season where no Welsh teams qualify from the pool stages, Scottish sides are embarrassed in the pool stages, and only Leinster plus KwaZulu-Ulster from Ireland is not the season to rant and rave about the strengths of the Magner's League.

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Moorforever January 17, 2011 12:45 pm

Did you see that a sidestep before scoring a try!!!!

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Alexander January 17, 2011 1:21 pm

@ anonymous. That was just a harmless comment at a couple of comments above. Try not to take yourself toooooo seriously yeah? ....'Twat'!

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FliyHalf January 17, 2011 1:30 pm

two really good steps!! :D

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Anonymous January 17, 2011 4:15 pm

Sean O'Brien has to be the best backrown in Europe at the moment. His ball carying is imense, very impresive talent. Not looking forward to playing against him in the 6 nations

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Rugger January 17, 2011 6:12 pm

People from the NH criticize the Super 14/15 for lots of tries being scored blaming it on poor defense. Well folks, that's what happens when you have good running rugby with plenty of off-loads to go about, it makes the defense look poor just like what you see in this video.

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Anonymous January 17, 2011 6:16 pm

Registered players is probably a better stat to compare than total population. England have something like 2.5 million registered rugby players. Ireland have roughly 150,000 registered rugby players. So England has 16 or 17 times the number of people playing rugby that Ireland has?


Also, Colombes, you are wrong in saying that Irish' sides only objective of the year is to win the Heineken Cup. Completely wrong. I mean, Leinster were in the final last year and Munster won it the year before and as well as making it out of the group stages of the HC.

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Anonymous January 17, 2011 6:20 pm

"People from the NH criticize the Super 14/15 for lots of tries being scored blaming it on poor defense. Well folks, that's what happens when you have good running rugby with plenty of off-loads to go about, it makes the defense look poor just like what you see in this video."

Never actually thought about that before. It sort of makes sense though. The score lines aren't generally huge when SH play NH teams. Maybe that's just down to the test match style of play though.

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Anonymous January 17, 2011 7:02 pm

saracens defense was kinda crap great lines but leinsters scramble defense is better their two tries were big mistakes by fitz he will get his form back just needs some time long injury lay off would like to see leinster vs super 14 winner:)

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Anonymous January 17, 2011 8:12 pm

Not sure where the England has a 50m ovulation came from..... It's over 60m actually, so that's another load of people to play for England......oh no wait....they are probably all illegal immigrants etc who have no right to be in England let alone play for them....

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Anonymous January 17, 2011 10:34 pm

haven't looked on these comment threads for a few months, just remembered why.
Leinster are awesome though.

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fry January 17, 2011 10:43 pm

Well put, KG.

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no rain in spain January 18, 2011 6:29 pm

Nacewa is such an asset to Leinster. It's almost a shame because he's better for them than Kearney is, and Kearney needs all the prodding he can get to get back to the boy-wonder he was being touted as a couple years ago...

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Anonymous January 18, 2011 7:45 pm

I wouldn't give Kearney his place back with Necewa like this. Maybe if Kearney changed his style of attacking play...

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cory January 18, 2011 9:26 pm

to anonymous who said about englands population being 60m+ that is bollocks, you are counting scotland, wales and northern ireland. The regional way of funding rugby is a very effective way of pooling talent, as is being shown by leinster. But teams such as the saints are also doing well off homegrown talent. It will be an interesting HC this year and it is good to see it isn't all the usual sides.

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KG January 18, 2011 10:21 pm

Northampton had the easiest pool. I don't understand how they are being given so much praise. The Blues, Edinburgh and Castres aren't exactly HC powerhouses. I mean well done, but they still have to prove themselves vs. top French, Irish and English teams.

They're my favourite team in the Premiership and they're playing very well right now but I'm still not sure about how they'll do...


I'm probably being too harsh, but I feel that the pundits and media are giving them too much credit.

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Anonymous January 18, 2011 10:22 pm

SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT TOTAL POPULATION ITS A WORTHLESS STAT. AT LEAST USE THE REGISTERED AMOUNT OF PLAYERS AS A REFERENCE IT'S MORE RELEVANT.

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Anonymous January 18, 2011 11:12 pm

Northampton are being hyped up because they have a quality scrum and lineout and a good place kicker. thats 3 quarters of a good rugby team right there

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