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Leinster player rating vs Toulouse | 2023/24 Investec Champions Cup

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Saturday May 25, 2024

Leinster player rating: Leinster Rugby saw a third consecutive Investec Champions Cup title slip from their grasp as Toulouse powered away in extra time to secure a record sixth title.

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Here is how the Leinster players fared in today’s titanic clash.

1. Andrew Porter – 8
The Ireland loosehead had a titanic battle with his opposite man, Dorian Aldegheri, and continued it against his replacement, Joel Merkler. Winning a few crucial early penalties, the Leinster scrum gave their backline opportunities to get going. By and large, he was the dominant force at scrum time.

2. Dan Sheehan – 7
Uber dynamic as usual and almost scored a crucial try before Blair Kinghorn tracked him down. His line-out throwing was good throughout, whilst his defensive work around the park was top drawer.

3. Tadhg Furlong – 8
The hits keep on coming, Furlong is back to his best and was rock solid in the scrum and had some notable tackles and carries throughout his 70 minute shift.

4. Joe McCarthy – 7
An absolute menace; big Joe had some big moments and was all over Antoine Dupont from the off with some big hits and timely scrags.

5. Jason Jenkins – 6
A strong outing from the Springbok, who took a nasty hit just before the break. This tackle would see him be replaced at half-time, but it was a good opening shift from the man who is set to depart the province at the end of the season.

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6. Ryan Baird –  7
There are few more exciting sights in world rugby than Baird in full flow. Rampaging like a giraffe released from a captivity pin, it is impossible to predict where the rangy backrow is going. His biggest trait, however, is his unrelenting pressure, both with his line speed and kick chase.

7. Will Connors – 6
He does exactly what it says on the tin as he chopped down the big Toulouse ball carriers with ruthless efficiency, especially when targeting Emmanuel Meafou. He did have a few carries, but of the Leinster backrow options, he is a distant fifth in terms of dynamic carrying. In short, he did his job efficiently and was replaced in the 44th minute.

8. Caelan Doris (c) – 8
A truly top-class performance from the World Class number eight, who at times has been criticised for fading on the big stage. Today, he was immense as his rampaging runs burst right in the heart of the Toulouse defence.

9. Jamison Gibson-Park – 8
It was fitting that his first involvement was to bundle Antoine Dupont into touch in what was billed as a battle of the best nines in the world. It is hard not to wax lyrical about JGP, the guy is just so so good and really is the heartbeat of both Leinster and Ireland’s attacking game.

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10. Ross Byrne – 7
Having come under serious scrutiny following last season’s final collapse (unfairly, we might add), Byrne had a good day and challenged the Toulouse line. His kicking game was rock solid as ever and relieved pressure when it was most needed.

11. James Lowe – 7
Denied a try towards the tail end of the half, having ruthlessly handed off Blair Kinghorn, this was one of Lowe’s best games positionally as he covered every Toulouse kick and attacked supremely. Unfortunately, his yellow card would prove costly as Leinster were badly exposed by Matthis Lebel out wide for a key try.

12. Jamie Osborne – 7
The youngster is the real deal, ladies and gentlemen. Following an otherworldly performance again, La Rochelle, it was always going to be tough to go up a level, but he did exactly that today.

13. Robbie Henshaw – 8
Physical, dominant and skillful, Henshaw was immense today and got his team on the front foot with some incisive breaks and big hits.

14. Jordan Larmour – 7
He will be counting his lucky stars that Matthis Lebel’s try didn’t stand, this aside Larmour was industrious from the off. Chasing every kick with intent, carrying hard and making his tackles, Larmour was solid today and looks to be maturing into the player many believed he could.

15. Hugo Keenan – 8
A Rolls Royce of a player, Keenan is silky smooth at all times! Like the great Rob Kearney before him, Keenan simply doesn’t make mistakes. Returning the Toulouse kicks with interest.

REPLACEMENTS:

16. Rónan Kelleher – 6
A great shift off the bench with some big hits and counter rucks, his carrying game is not as dynamic as Sheehan’s but his tight carrying was once again powerful.

17. Cian Healy – 6
It was a good scrummaging cameo for Healy before departing with an HIA; unfortunately, he was isolated and coughed up a key penalty in extra time, which will hurt, but it wasn’t ultimately his fault alone.

18. Michael Ala’alatoa – 7
Arguably, his best appearance at this level was when he picked up where Furlong had left off, with a monstrous scrummaging performance and some great carries.

19. James Ryan – 6
He was solid at line-out time, albeit he did lose a couple, but he just didn’t quite have his usual physical impact, probably due to his lack of game time following his time on the sidelines with injury.

20. Jack Conan – 7
If there was no such thing as a Caelen Doris, then Conan would be a nailed-on starter. The British and Irish Lion brings such impetus off the bench every time he comes on, and today, it was no different.

21. Luke McGrath – N/A
Wasn’t used in today’s match.

22. Ciarán Frawley – 8
A great cameo from the bench as he landed the all-important kicks to take the match to extra time. This cameo served as a key reminder that Frawley is a ten and needs to get game time in the position.

23. Josh van der Flier – 8
The ultimate impact sub, the backrow, barged over for Leinster’s only try of the day that got his team right back into the action. He will be kicking himself for coughing up possession whilst his team were on the attack late on but he was brilliant other than this moment.

Watch the exclusive reveal-all episode of Walk the Talk with Ardie Savea as he chats to Jim Hamilton about the RWC 2023 experience, life in Japan, playing for the All Blacks and what the future holds. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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