Isa Nacewa tackle on Gareth Owen


Seru Rabeni crunching tackle on McFadden


Matt Toomua Falcon vs the All Blacks


Visser penalised for preventing lineout


Rupeni Caucau try and nice assist


Japanese swallow dive try blooper


The Top 5 Crazy Cards of All Time


Mourad Boudjellal on building Toulon


Sam Tuitupou's big tackle on Sherridan

Monday, May 02, 2011

Leinster through to the Heineken Cup final after beating Toulouse

Leinster through to the Heineken Cup final after beating Toulouse

Leinster are through to another Heineken Cup final, their second in three years, after they beat defending champions Toulouse 32-23 in a fast-paced semi final in Dublin on Saturday.

Flyhalf Jonathan Sexton kicked 22 points to add to tries by Brian ODriscoll and Jamie Heaslip as the home side got some kind of revenge over the side that knocked them out at the same stage last year.

The 2009 champions didnt disappoint the 50 000 fans on hand as they showed their quality to come back from an early freak try. Irish number eight Heaslip, who later scored a try by the narrowest of margins, said that revenge wasnt a motivating factor.

"It wasn't a case of it being a revenge mission for us, not at all," he said.

"We've got our goal set on winning the competition and Toulouse just happened to be the team in the semi-final. They played some amazing rugby and we didn't play our best, but no guts, no glory.

"I don't think there was much between the teams, and we're just happy to have got past this game. We'll have to be on top of our game to compete in the final and win this competition."

The Irish side will face England team Northampton Saints in the May 21st final, after they convincingly beat Perpignan in Milton Keynes yesterday.


Time: 04:57

Posted at 1:12 pm | 61 comments

Viewing 61 comments

Toners May 02, 2011 12:48 pm

FIRST!

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Dave May 02, 2011 12:52 pm

Great win for leinster, the measure of a team is if you win playing poorly, which they did, convincingly, roll on cardiff :)

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Richard Harper May 02, 2011 12:56 pm

serious game! you hear bod say it wasn't a ruck! so theirs no offside! lucky it didn't cost the game!!!!

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Anonymous May 02, 2011 12:58 pm

You have to show that after the second french try, Yannick Nyanga get punched by an Irish men, but the referee don't care ;)
Great match by the Leinstermen, but the referee was clearly with them ;)

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Mike May 02, 2011 1:02 pm

Should have been the final. I hear that the Toulouse fans were very popular in Dublin, and I have to say that, reading what Guy Noves and Daan Human said after the game, they took their defeat like heroes, true gentlemen.

Toulouse will be back. Roll on Leinster.

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Gav May 02, 2011 1:04 pm

You have to show that after the second french try, Yannick Nyanga get punched by an Irish men, but the referee don't care ;)

Yes, and we know that Tolouse only scored the try because the Irish man was tackled by Nyanga without the ball. It should have been no try, and a penalty to Leinster, but the referee didn't care. He was clearly with Toulouse :)

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Tom May 02, 2011 1:05 pm

@Dave: I woudn't say Leinster played poorly, neither did Toulouse. It was a great game between the two best and more consistant teams in Europe.
I guess the home advantage and the toughness of this year's Top 14 prevented Toulouse from having a real shot this year.

I'll support Leinster for the final. I guess they deserve it more than Northampton (not that the English don't deserve it but they are kind of newbies at this level).

Oh and guys,what do you think of Doussain (Toulouse n9)? He was the best player of his team I think. Is he the future for Les Bleus?

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SeaGizmo May 02, 2011 1:06 pm

The Toulouse fans were great after the game. Had a few beers in the stadium with a good group of them. They took the defeat all bar one little fella who tried to nick some old boys pint and he starting hitting with with his walking stick. Comedy Gold!

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Anonymous May 02, 2011 1:06 pm

why was sexton even trying to make that last kick? should have kicked it a mile out of play.

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Anonymous May 02, 2011 1:08 pm

Everything has been done before this year's competition starts in order that a french team can't win the Heineken cup.
Look at the pools, the quarter final confrontations, and the semi final venues. Just crazy...

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ShaneR May 02, 2011 1:11 pm

Some terrible reffing from Dave Pearson yesterday.

He barely called any offsides.

Did anyone else notice Census Johnson's 2 trips? He stuck his whole leg out on two occasions (including where BOD scores) and he was never carded.

Also, how could BOD have come in from the wrong side if there was no ruck formed? I don't understand what he did wrong. There was no ruck. It looked to me like he put his hand up to prevent the Toulouse player from popping up the ball and he was then pushed into the player...

Also, just before this Toulouse penalised twice on their own line. No yellow cards, yet Leinster get yellow the first time Toulouse make it to their line. And the yellow shouldn't have even been a yellow.

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Anonymous May 02, 2011 1:12 pm

And everything was don last year to ensure French teams in the finals - look at the pools, the quarter-final confrontations, the semi-final venues etc. - just crazy.

But I didn't hear any French people complaining about it that time.

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Anonymous May 02, 2011 1:12 pm

"Everything has been done before this year's competition starts in order that a french team can't win the Heineken cup.
Look at the pools, the quarter final confrontations, and the semi final venues. Just crazy..."

What in the name of God are you talking about you silly silly man?!?!

Leinster came out of a group with two top French teams and Saracens.

If Touloose hadn't lost to Wasps they could have had a home semi. Get over your sour grapes.

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ShaneR May 02, 2011 1:15 pm

"You have to show that after the second french try, Yannick Nyanga get punched by an Irish men, but the referee don't care ;)
Great match by the Leinstermen, but the referee was clearly with them ;)"

He tackled / held SOB off the ball. That piece of illegal play is the reason why Toulouse walked over the line so easily. It was right in front of the ref as well. It shouldn't have been a try. It should have been a penalty to Leinster for tackling off the ball.

Not to mention, the for little kick which got Toulouse the scrum before their try: the chaser was ahead of the kicker. He was offside. It should have been a penalty to Leinster. Yet again, this was missed by both Dave Pearson and Wayne Barnes.

Toulouse were lucky to get any tries at all actually.

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Colombes May 02, 2011 1:16 pm

Could have been the final. Great match from both teams, surely the 2 best sides in europe with the saints.

Both teams had their chances and the difference was done by a more clinical Leinster which was performant on up&under and rucks.
Toulouse played an open-game but without discipline (9 pens conceded)
i also had the impression that they are a bit tired by their long season.
It's an usual argument but u can't forget that french teams has to play 2 competitions with top14, than magners league is a training session for irish. a "top12" could the solution...

But again, all credit to Leinster who are a very complete team durin the whole season. if they can keep their level, they will surely trash the sneaky saints.

About O'brien punch,
i've seen him. Nyanga held him back but i don't thnik o'brien could have denied the try. was he cited? It recalls o'connell red card vs ospreys

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Mike May 02, 2011 1:22 pm

About O'brien punch,
i've seen him. Nyanga held him back but i don't thnik o'brien could have denied the try. was he cited? It recalls o'connell red card vs ospreys


I think he would have stopped it, but Nyanga did a good job. If it was at the other end of the field, O'Brien would have tried to hold him, and if he succeeded, Nyanga probably would have hit him.

I don't think Toulouse have complained about this (proving they have honour, as Nyanga was only hit because he was cheating).

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Come on Leinster May 02, 2011 1:25 pm

I just saw that a French player stuck his leg up to interfere with Boss's pass at the 58:38 mark. That was the most cynical thing ever. How was he not carded?

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Colombes May 02, 2011 1:36 pm

To mike,
Yep you are true, don't think toulouse have complained about it.
O'brien was quite ferocious this last saturday, the next Leamy

Concerning BOD yellow,
Few things should be recalled:
O'driscoll was sin-binned because he taped the ball by coming from an offside position. It wasn't a ruck but he should have get round Clerc and contest the ball by his side. so it was cynical.

Furthermore, BOD could have been sent off for a second yellow in the 2nd half, as he tried to shoot in the ball in a toulouse ruck. Fortunately for him, he missed the ball :)
BOD is not a saint, that's why he will a devil for the saints ;)

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Tom May 02, 2011 1:41 pm

For those complaining about Nyanga holding the Irish flanker on the Toulouse try, wasn't the Irish player out of the scrum before the ball was out anyway?

(Just asking here! I don't know the rule exactly...in my French regional championship you have to get linked to the scrum touching it with your shoulder at least. Touching it with your hand, as in this case, is not enough. But probably the rule is different in HCup

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Anonymous May 02, 2011 1:42 pm

Great game of Rugby.

Good refeering except for rucks. He was really, really kind for Leinster in rucks, a lot of illegal hands were not whistled.
It was also the case against Census Johnston.

But Leinster deserve this win. There were the best on the field .

For those who read French here is a insteresting article on one of the reason of the French failure this week end.

I'm really impatient to watch the Final. It will be great game of running rugby.

See you next year for a French victory in HCup: :D

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Mike May 02, 2011 1:45 pm

I'm not saying the referee was wrong on the O'Driscoll card, but I am confused by what happened - I didn't know that he had to come 'through the gate' if there was no ruck formed (and a ruck is formedonly when a third player arrives and is on their feet).

This text is how I understood the rules:

Finally, the arriving players at a tackle must come through the gate, an imaginary line running parallel to their own goal line and as wide as the tackle area, and remain on their feet while trying to play the ball. They must also not fall on or over the ball, preventing an opponent from claiming it.

A tackle situation can become a ruck very quickly. A ruck is formed when a player from either side who is on their feet, is in contact over a ball on the ground. Once a ruck is formed, players may no longer use their hands, regardless of whether they are on their feet or not.


So, looking at the video, O'Driscoll IS the third person there, so there is no ruck, so he does not have to come from his own side. Did the referee make a terrible mistake?

PS Colombes, I know that BOD is not a saint :)

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Heaton May 02, 2011 1:46 pm

There is no "right side" to enter from if there is no ruck, which is why BOD was allowed to do what he did and should not have been carded. The referee needs to read the rule book.

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Anonymous May 02, 2011 1:47 pm

not sure 1st try of Heaslip had to be validated. He clearly made a stop and then extended his arm to score. He should have done in the continuity of the play. It was a ruck, the ball should havbe been released by Heaslip.
Secondly, BOD at the end of the game near the leinster try-line came into the ruck by the side and try to kick the ball with his feet, referee didn't see that either...could have make a try for Toulouse and change the result of the game. What you think?

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Anonymous May 02, 2011 1:51 pm

awesome game, some good rugby some bits of lawbending, had it all

the conspiracy-people are at it again :D

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Gavin May 02, 2011 1:52 pm

Well, I think that O'Driscoll's card looks like it was incorrect, and that Tolouse's second score should have been a penalty to Leinster instead.

And I'm sure that Leinster must have got some good luck too :)

And I think it was a great game, and Toulouse are a great team.

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Gareth May 02, 2011 1:53 pm

yeah, Heaslip try is curious. as he seems to make 2 movements.
Even the ref was returning to previous penalty before to change his mind after heaslip contestations. whatever it was validated.

The o'driscoll shoot attempt. yeah, but he missed it, so no penalty

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Anonymous May 02, 2011 1:54 pm

Should've could've would've

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Anonymous May 02, 2011 1:55 pm

the ref was poor as neither of those two offside penalties should have counted and judging on comments
its good to see some attacking rugby being played in Europe though. nh games usually bore me but not this one

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Anonymous May 02, 2011 1:55 pm

"not sure 1st try of Heaslip had to be validated. He clearly made a stop and then extended his arm to score. He should have done in the continuity of the play. It was a ruck, the ball should havbe been released by Heaslip.
Secondly, BOD at the end of the game near the leinster try-line came into the ruck by the side and try to kick the ball with his feet, referee didn't see that either...could have make a try for Toulouse and change the result of the game. What you think?"

You are allowed to place the ball in a separate motion. You are allowed to stop and then place the ball using your arms (as long as you don't move yourself forward as well). Nothing wrong with what Heaslip did. Many tries are scored by extending the arm in a seperate motion.

The key thing about what BOD did is he missed the ball. So he didn't actually change the result of game. Anyway, Leinster were ahead by more than 5 / 7 points so it wouldn't have mattered.

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Anonymous May 02, 2011 1:56 pm

An extension of the arm is not a double movement, after your body comes to a stop that is the one movement you are allowed to make to score a try, if he had moved his entire body and then stretched his arm out then it would have been a double movement

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JAMIE May 02, 2011 1:57 pm

Anon @ May 02, 2011 3:55 PM


Watch more HC matches. I think Magners League and Premiership are boring as fuck (except matches involving Leinster and Saracens and Bath). But HC matches are the most exciting. Even better than Super 15. They are always so tense at the end and the knockout format makes it even better.

Top 14 is actually quite good. Very fluid rugby as well.

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Anonymous May 02, 2011 2:03 pm

Great match. Love Guy Novs. The guy is pure class. A very honorable post match interview. The team is fantastic also. Looked threatening from start to end.

This Leinster are one of the best NH sides in the last 10 years I'd say. They've managed to beat the top 2 teams in the Premiership (possible the 4th team as well, depending on how the final goes) and the Top 3 teams in France. The road to a HC final doesn't get any harder yet they've burst through everyone.

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Anonymous May 02, 2011 2:20 pm

HEYMANS

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Gavin May 02, 2011 2:25 pm

Great match. Love Guy Novs. The guy is pure class. A very honorable post match interview. The team is fantastic also. Looked threatening from start to end.

Totally agree.

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Anonymous May 02, 2011 2:35 pm

the french contributors to this are very ethnocentric. they just refer to any leinster players as the irish man rather than using their names. sean obrien and heaslip both play for ireland so its not as if they're unknown

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mise May 02, 2011 3:38 pm

Excellent, absorbing encounter. Highlights can only show so much, but there were some ding dong periods of continuous play that just didn't stop!

Toulouse's continuity and offloading was excellent at times.

Ref seems to be so important these days in all matches- so many different opinions on, for e.g. whether BOD deserved a sin bin for that incident where he was pushed and then handled the ball on the ground in a 'non ruck' . And again, breakdown ref style was crucial.

Lenister finished with the team they probably should have started with - McFadden is more on form that Fitzgerald, Van Der M sorted the scrum out, Boss bossed it, Jennings is a groundhog who suited the ref, the game and balance of the team.

SOB and Heaslip were incredible but so too were D'Arcy and Nascewa in the backs.

No real weaknesses in the Leinster team, thou Healey will find that front row hot to handle!

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Anonymous May 02, 2011 3:49 pm

Could Rugbydump/anyone upload or get an clip of the O'Brien punch? Really want to see it!

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Anonymous May 02, 2011 3:51 pm

Congrats to Leinster and to Toulouse for this fantastic game!
I hope Leinster will win HCup and Toulouse the Top 14.

Doussain is a genius.

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Anonymous May 02, 2011 3:57 pm

little kelleher

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Anonymous May 02, 2011 4:33 pm

"And everything was don last year to ensure French teams in the finals - look at the pools, the quarter-final confrontations, the semi-final venues etc. - just crazy.

But I didn't hear any French people complaining about it that time."



Boudjellal complained in January and sent a mail to the ERC ;-)
If you understand french, here is an interview for you :

http://www.varmatin.com/article/rct/h-cup-boudjellal-sinterroge-sur-le-tirage-au-sort

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Matthew May 02, 2011 4:35 pm

Congrats to Leinster; looking forwards to taking you on in Cardiff!

COYS

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Anonymous May 02, 2011 4:36 pm

If you understand french

I'll learn French when the French learn that the Irish are not 'Anglo Saxon'

:)

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Nathan May 02, 2011 4:41 pm

not sure how some Leinster fans are complaining about the ref. Leinster had a fair few decisions go there way playing against Leicester.

Games of rugby are like that, sometimes you get the decisions, sometimes you don't...

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Mike May 02, 2011 4:45 pm

Nathan, you are right. You will notice that the first complaints about the ref said that the ref was favouring Leinster. I and others have pointed out that the ref awarded an incorrect try to Toulouse, and gave an incorrect yellow card to O'Driscoll.

The ref made mistakes on both sides.

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Anonymous May 02, 2011 4:55 pm

"I'll learn French when the French learn that the Irish are not 'Anglo Saxon' "

Who said that? Definitely not me.

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Anonymous May 02, 2011 4:57 pm

"And everything was don last year to ensure French teams in the finals - look at the pools, the quarter-final confrontations, the semi-final venues etc. - just crazy.

But I didn't hear any French people complaining about it that time."

Guy Noves himself had said before the game that "they didn't give a toss about the venue of the semi final".
I think he's the kind of guy who'd rather not waste time arguing about something that he cannot change. A shame he's not friend with the French federation as he would do some good with the team...
Great game of rugby, i thought Toulouse seemed quiet slow/tired compared to Leinster.

And i was very impressed by The Saints, should be a great final!

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themull May 02, 2011 6:34 pm

The sooner the better the French National team get Guy Noves to manage them...He would do wonders for them and would most likely knock a lot of their inconsistency out of them..

The guy is pure class and has ahd so much success in domestic and European rugby...Much like what Declen Kidney was when he managed Munster...

Regarding the match it was a great encounter...Both sides went at it from the start with both sides enjoying periods of dominance...

Toulouse defence in the first half was amazing and it took so many phases for Leinster to finally get the ball over the line, and only just at that....

Sean O' Brien was immense in the loose and in tight and it would seem Ireland have finally found a flanker who can ruck without getting too many whistles blown against him, well judging from his last few performances anyway....

Toulouse counter attack was awesome and probably could have scored an exxtra try or two had they just managed to beat one more Leinster player on a couple of occasions...

Northampton will need to put on their best performance so far to win the final thats for sure...

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dezzy May 02, 2011 6:57 pm

Agree with Mike, should have been the final

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Aymeric May 02, 2011 9:11 pm

Class teams, class players, class coaches... Awesome H-cup game!
Doesn't matter if one or two decisions went wrong, the winner deserved the win and the loser went down with honor.
Toulouse and Leinster are probably the two best teams in Europe at the moment (no offense to Saints fans but they still lack pedigree, for now..) and they play exciting rugby.
The atmosphere was unreal in Dublin too!
In short, a great advertisement for rugby!

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moddeur May 02, 2011 10:56 pm

Great match, good intentions on both sides, but somehow Toulouse lost a bit of memento in the second half.

Noves changed two key players around the 45th minute mark (early!) to replace them with very good but just-back-from-injury players (Dusautoir and Human), which I feel had an effect on the overall memento.

Not a great day for the referee, but not a bad one either. A few bad calls on both sides, but overall good refereeing.

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moddeur May 02, 2011 10:57 pm

Hehe, of course I meant "momentum".

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Ben May 03, 2011 7:52 am

@Mike - You post the correct text, but read it again. You have to come from your own side at a tackle and a ruck. Once the tackle is made playing the ball at the tackle area has to be done coming from your own side. As you wrote:

Finally, the arriving players at a tackle must come through the gate, an imaginary line running parallel to their own goal line and as wide as the tackle area, and remain on their feet while trying to play the ball.

This is the case before even a ruck has formed. The difference being that players not involved at the tackle remain onside irrespective of their position, until a ruck is formed, when they must be behind a line parallel with their goal line running from the back of the ruck.

Hope that makes sense? BOD came from the wrong side to interfere with a player legally playing the ball immediately after he was tackled, so it was cynical ad he was pinged.

FWIW, I fancy Saints in the final.

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Mike May 03, 2011 8:14 am

Ben, thanks for the clarification - I thought the rule only applied once the ruck has formed. Dave Pearson, I apologise :)

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Anonymous May 03, 2011 2:53 pm

1st TRY of Leinster should be refused: He was tackled and didn't release the ball. What's the job of TMO? Pearson gave first the penality and after talk to leinstermen checked with the TMO

Sin Bin of BOD: Toulouse scored the try but the referee didn't check with the TMO

I think there are rules for the ruck but he don't know them

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Anonymous May 03, 2011 3:06 pm

Can't believe O'Brien hasn't been sighted for the swinging arm. Exact same thing as POC and he gets 4 weeks.

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Anonymous May 03, 2011 4:11 pm

I hope the final will be grandiose
I have tickets for Cardiff and really would have liked to be able to support Toulouse over there!

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Eoghan May 04, 2011 10:07 pm

AAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaargh

*ahem*

Where there is a tackle you have to enter through the gate from your own side. The gate is as wide as the tackle, constituting the tackled player and the tackle.

Correct to say there is no offside line at a tackle. That means if there is a tackle and the ball is popped/played out before a ruck forms, every one can play, including players coming back towards the tackle.

BUT YOU HAVE TO COME THROUGH THE GATE TO ENTER THE TACKLE

had to get that out of my system.

BOD's card = fair call (although he was knocked by a french player before entering the tackle, he deliberately played the ball and knew what he was doing).

That said, come on Leinster - win it !

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Eoghan May 04, 2011 10:08 pm

woops...Ben already clarified that perfectly.

I got about 2/3's of the way through the comments and then couldn't hold off anymore.

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Flipje May 08, 2011 11:15 am

Well the best team won no doubt.

Toulouse was too often penalised (rightfully) and following a bit of luck with their first try, could not hold their ground/advance in the first half by giving too much penalty opportunities. They helped Leinster to come back quickly in the game and slowly taking control of the game.

After that, you need to give credit to Leinster to recycle the ball so quickly in the ruck (that is the BIG difference with Toulouse and actually most of french teams...extending this to Les Bleus). While Toulouse played correct with a rejuvenated Heymans and an impressived Doussain, I felt a lack balance between Back and Front row (support in th e ruck was often missing). As for Leinster, bloody hell what a game had Leinster 3rd line/row with Heaslip crucial at key moment and well supported by SOB. Also, after all the critics (and some well deserved to be honest), D'Arcy raised from the ashes and made a lot of damages (especially in the first half) in Toulouse defensive back line.

Good game, good atmosphere, valid winner.

Hope to see Toulouse having their revenge, but first they will have to restart with a new area of players......

Best of luck to Leinster in the Final, it will all except a walk in the park vs the Saints.

Cracking game in perspective!!!!!!

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Anonymous May 11, 2011 3:15 pm

o driscoll shudnt of been sin binned. der was no ruck. .... in order 4 a ruck, der must be atleast 3 players involved. der was only de tackler nd de ball carrier. therefore its open play.... if de ball was popped to piccamole den o driscoll cud of tackled him, nd de ref wud of done nutin. but if it was a ruck den o driscoll wud av 2 return 2 an onside position b4 tacklin

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