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Leinster

FULL-TIME
22     17

Exeter Chiefs

European Cup | Aviva Stadium
15:15 (GMT) | 16-12-2017
  • 82
European Champions cup action continues on Sunday afternoon as Clermont host Saracens at the Stade Marcel-Michelin in Clermont-Ferrand
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FULL TIME: LEINSTER 22- 17 EXETER CHIEFS
  • 80
Leinster look to wind down the clock as they keep the ball in close quarters and carry well on halfway protecting possession and Leinster put boot to ball and send the ball into touch. Exeter concede the penalty and Leinster tap and go and send the ball into touch. Congratulations to Leinster on a well deserved 22-17 victory over Exeter Chiefs in this round four European Champions cup match
  • 78
Sam Skinner concedes the penalty for Exeter for an infringement at the lineout inside the Leinster 22 and Leinster set the attacking lineout from the penalty with a touch finder on halfway
  • 77
Leinster concede the penalty for a high tackle from Ross Byrne and Exeter Chiefs are searching for the five pointer as they set the attacking lineout with a touch finder inside the Leinster 22
  • 75
The lineout goes astray for Exeter as Leinster manage to win the ball against the throw on the Leinster ten meter line and Ross Byrne puts in a tactical clearance with a kick up field
  • 74
Leinster are blown up for an infringement inside the Exeter half of the field and Exeter set the attacking lineout from the penalty with a touch finder on the Leinster ten meter line
  • 73
Exeter concede the penalty for not releasing the ball at the breakdown and Ross Byrne sets the attacking lineout for Leinster with a touch finder just short of the Exeter 22
  • 72
Exeter Chiefs look to counter attack from inside their own half after receiving possession from Luke McGrath who managed to find grass with a box kick
  • 71
Garry Ringrose gets brought to ground in the tackle but still manages to get the ball away to Luke McGrath with a well timed pass out of the back of the hands inside the Exeter half. Exeter are doing all the tackling now
  • 69
Leinster win the ball at the scrum on their own ten meter line and Garry Ringrose shows some good footwork as he sidesteps and evades a tackler before he is brought to ground inside the Leinster half
  • 67
Isa Nacewa converts the try for Leinster from inside the Exeter 22 and Leinster now lead Exeter 22-17 after that converted try
  • 66
Try time! Leinster break up field after Exeter leave space with poor defence around the fringes of the ruck. Dan Leavy shows plenty of pace with a powerful run before he sends Luke McGrath through for the try with a well timed inside ball
  • 65
Exeter Chiefs concede the penalty for an infringement at the breakdown inside the Leinster half of the field and Leinster are looking to finish the game strong as they set the attacking lineout with a touch finder on the Exeter ten meter line
  • 63
Isa Nacewa keeps his radar going with an accurate kick at poles which sees the ball sail through the poles from the penalty kick at poles inside the Exeter 22. Leinster trail Exeter Chiefs by two points with 17 minutes of the game still to play
  • 62
Exeter Chiefs concede the penalty for an infringement after they managed to hold the ball up over the line and prevent a try. Isa Nacewa will line up the kick at poles for Leinster from inside the Exeter 22
  • 61
Garry Ringrose gets driven back by Henry Slade in the tackle on the Exeter five meter line, Leinster are looking dangerous here!
  • 60
Garry Ringrose looks to put Robbie Henshaw into space with quick hands on the wing. Henshaw knocks the ball forward but Exeter knocked the ball forward first, an advantage was being played and Leinster are awarded the attacking scrum just outside the Exeter 22
  • 58
Exeter Chiefs win possession at the lineout inside the Leinster 22 but Leinster manage to force the turnover as Exeter lose the ball in the tackle and Leinster are quick to put boot to ball and make the clearance with a kick up field
  • 57
Leinster concede the penalty for collapsing the scrum just short of their ten meter line and Exeter set the attacking lineout from the penalty with a touch finder inside the Leinster 22
  • 56
Isa Nacewa has both the distance and the direction as he sends the ball sailing through the poles with the penalty kick at poles from just outside the Exeter 22. Leinster trail Exeter by five points with 56 minutes of the game played
  • 55
Exeter Chiefs concede the penalty for an infringement at the breakdown just outside their own 22 and Isa Nacewa will strike for Poles from the kicking tee for Leinster
  • 54
Leinster are distributing the ball among their forwards as they look to draw in the Exeter defence with plenty of physicality in the tackle deep inside the Exeter half
  • 52
Sam Simmonds concedes the penalty for Exeter Chiefs for an infringement at the breakdown and Leinster set the attacking lineout from the penalty with a touch finder on their own ten meter line
  • 51
Exeter win possession at the lineout just inside the Leinster half and they play the wide channels before Leinster manage to track back and bring Exeter to ground after a well worked attacking play on the wing
  • 50
Luke McGrath sends the ball into touch on the full and Exeter Chiefs will have the attacking lineout just inside the Leinster half
  • 48
Luke Cowan-Dickie gets first to the ball for Exeter Chiefs at the breakdown. Leinster concede the penalty for not releasing the ball at the breakdown and Exeter set the attacking lineout with the touch finder on halfway
  • 47
Devin Toner and Josh van der Flier combine well in the drive as they gain valuable meters for Leinster on the Exeter ten meter line
  • 45
Exeter Chiefs win the ball against the throw at the lineout on the Exeter five meter line but Exeter concede the penalty for an infringement at the breakdown and Leinster set the attacking lineout from the penalty with a touch finder on halfway
  • 44
Exeter Chiefs pick and go and edge their way towards the line with some powerful carries on the Leinster five meter line but Leinster manage to regroup on defence as they bundle Exeter into touch and Leinster have the defensive lineout on their five meter line
  • 43
Lachlan Turner goes the direct route as he takes the ball into contact before he is brought to ground inside the Leinster half of the field
  • 42
Mick Kearney loses the ball for Leinster in the tackle and Exeter Chiefs are quick to gather the loose ball and put boot to ball with a touch finder inside the Leinster 22. Leinster have the defensive lineout
  • 41
Referee Mathieu Raynal blows his whistle and Exeter Chiefs get the second half underway with a deep kick into the Leinster half of the field. Leinster manage to win possession from the restart and Luke McGrath makes the exit with the box kick which Exeter Chiefs win in the air but Exeter knock the ball forward and Leinster have the defensive scrum on their own ten meter line

Half Time

  • 40
Leinster win possession at the scrum on their ten metre line and they look to take the ball into contact and crash the ball up field before they finds space and break up the wing, Exeter manage to track back and bring Leinster to ground just short of the Exeter 22 but Exeter concede the penalty for not rolling away at the breakdown, Isa Nacewa sends the ball sailing through the poles from the penalty kick at poles outside the Exeter 22 and Leinster go into the break with a confidence boosting three points. Exeter Chiefs lead Leinster 17-9 at halftime. Stay tuned for the second forty which will follow shortly
  • 39
Exeter Chiefs knock the ball forward at the ruck and Leinster will have the defensive scrum inside their own half. The referee asks for a reset at scrum time and Leinster will have another defensive scrum
  • 38
It looks good and it's over! Isa Nacewa sends the ball sailing through the poles with an accurate kick at poles from the penalty kick at poles on the Exeter ten meter line
  • 37
Exeter concede the penalty for not releasing the ball at the breakdown and Isa Nacewa will strike for poles for Leinster from the Exeter ten meter line
  • 36
Exeter Chiefs win the ball at the lineout inside their own 22 and Nic White makes the clearance kick with a touch finder on halfway. Leinster have the attacking lineout
  • 35
Leinster run out of ideas on attack inside the Exeter half of the field as they choose to pin Exeter in the corner with a touch finder inside the Exeter 22. Exeter have the defensive lineout
  • 32
Gareth Steenson converts the try for Exeter Chiefs with the kick at poles from the Leinster 22
  • 31
Scott Fardy is shown yellow and sent to the sin bin for ten minutes for collapsing the Exeter maul on the Leinster five meter line before the try was scored
  • 30
Try time! Don Armand jumps up and wins the ball at the lineout for Exeter on the Leinster five meter line. Leinster get the driving maul going and Luke Cowan-Dickie crashes over for a well worked pushover try for Exeter Chiefs
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High fives all around for Exeter at the breakdown as Leinster concede the penalty for not releasing the ball and Exeter set the attacking lineout with a touch finder on the Leinster five meter line
  • 28
Gareth Steenson has his kicking boots on today as he sends the ball flying through the poles from the penalty kick at poles on the Leinster ten meter line. Exeter Chiefs now lead Leinster 10-3
  • 27
Leinster are blown up for collapsing the scrum and Gareth Steenson will look to add the extra three points for Exeter with the kick at poles from the penalty on the Leinster ten meter line
  • 26
Fergus McFadden makes a well timed tackle and read on defence as Exeter Chiefs look to show and go and sell the dummy but McFadden makes a powerful tackle on defence and stops his opponents in his tracks as he manages to bring Exeter to ground
  • 25
Leinster win the ball at the lineout just short of the Exeter 22 and Leinster look to draw in the Exeter defence with the rolling maul. Leinster concede the penalty for an infringement at the breakdown and Exeter set the attacking lineout with a touch finder inside the Leinster half
  • 24
Exeter Chiefs concede the penalty for an infringement at the breakdown just inside the Leinster half and Leinster set the attacking lineout from the penalty with a touch finder just short of the Exeter 22
  • 23
High fives all around for Leinster at lineout time as Devin Toner makes a well read and timed jump to win the ball against the throw on the Leinster 22
  • 22
Leinster concede the penalty for not releasing the ball at the breakdown and Exeter Chiefs set the attacking lineout from the penalty with a touch finder on the Leinster 22
  • 21
Gareth Steenson runs hard and straight at the line before he is brought to ground inside the Leinster half of the field
  • 19
Leinster win the ball at the scrum just short of halfway. Exeter Chiefs do well to rush up on defence straight from the scrum as Luke McGrath looks to make the exit kick. McGrath sees his kick charged down and Exeter manage to gather the loose ball before they are wrapped up inside the Leinster half
  • 17
Cian Healy is shown yellow and sent to the sin bin for ten minutes after making contact with the head of Exeter Chiefs hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie head using his forearm. Exeter Chiefs are awarded the penalty and they are going for broke as they set the attacking lineout with a touch finder inside the Leinster half
  • 16
Leinster win the ball against the throw at the lineout on their own five meter line and they look to counter attack with a kick up field but Chiefs manage to track back and gather possession
  • 15
Leinster concede the penalty for an infringement inside their own half and Exeter Chiefs are searching for the five pointer as they set the attacking lineout with a touch finder on the Leinster five meter line
  • 14
Leinster win possession at the scrum inside their own 22 and Luke McGrath tests Exeter under the high ball with the box kick. Exeter Chiefs position themselves well to win the ball in the air and look to go through the phases with plenty of carries inside the Leinster half
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The referee asks for a reset at scrum time after the scrum goes to ground and Leinster will have another defensive scrum inside their own 22
  • 11
Isa Nacewa sends the ball sailing through the poles from the penalty kick at poles from just outside the Exeter Chiefs 22, Leinster have their first points of the game
  • 10
Exeter Chiefs are blown up for not rolling away at the breakdown and Isa Nacewa will line the penalty kick up at poles for Leinster from outside the Exeter 22
  • 9
Lachlan Turner receives a well timed pass and runs a good angle as he breaks the tackle before he is brought to ground by Leinster just inside the Leinster half
  • 8
Exeter Chiefs win the ball against the throw at the lineout just inside their own half and they carry the ball into contact before they make valuable meters with a high ball which they win in the air
  • 7
Exeter Chiefs win the ball at the lineout inside their own 22 before they make the exit kick with a touch finder just short of halfway. Leinster have the attacking lineout
  • 6
Nic White looks to test the Leinster defence with an up and under from inside the Exeter Chiefs half Leinster do well to win the ball in the air and they respond with an up and under of their own. Leinster chase the high ball well and force Exeter Chiefs to knock the ball back inside their own half as play goes loose
  • 3
Gareth Steenson converts the try with the kick at poles from the Leinster 22 and Exeter Chiefs now lead Leinster 7-0
  • 2
Exeter Chiefs jump up and win the ball at the lineout just short of the Leinster 22. Exeter Chiefs carry well and get over the advantage line and Sam Skinner crashes over for the pushover try for Exeter Chiefs
  • 0
Referee Mathieu Raynal blows his whistle and Johnny Sexton gets the game underway for Leinster with a short hanging kick short of the Exeter 22. Leinster compete for the ball in the air but the ball goes loose and Leinster concede the penalty at the breakdown. Chiefs set the attacking lineout from the penalty with a touch finder just short of the Leinster 22
  • -5
Mathieu Raynal is our referee. Tual Trainini and Mathieu Noirot will assist him. Our TMO is Philippe Bonhoure
  • -10
Exeter are still searching for their first Champions Cup win in Ireland, they did however beat Connacht in the Challenge Cup in January 2015.
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Last weekend, Leinster became the first side to win at Sandy Park since Bordeaux-Bègles in Round Three last season (including Premiership matches).
  • -30
Welcome to Round Four of the 2017/18 European Champions Cup. Leinster welcome English champions Exeter Chiefs to the Aviva Stadium!
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Leinster
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Exeter Chiefs
START LINE UP
  • 15 Mick Kearney
  • 14 Fergus McFadden
  • 13 Garry Ringrose
  • 12 Robbie Henshaw
  • 11 Isa Nacewa
  • 10 Johnny Sexton
  • 9 Luke McGrath
  • 8 Jack Conan
  • 7 Josh van der Flier
  • 6 Sean O'Brien
  • 5 Scott Fardy
  • 4 Devin Toner
  • 3 Tadhg Furlong
  • 2 Sean Cronin
  • 1 Cian Healy
RESERVES
  • 23 Jordan Larmour
  • 22 Ross Byrne
  • 21 Jamison Gibson-Park
  • 20 Dan Leavy
  • 19 James Ryan
  • 18 Andrew Porter
  • 17 Jack McGrath
  • 16 James Tracy
START LINE UP
  • 23 James Short
  • 14 Jack Nowell
  • 13 Henry Slade
  • 12 Ian Whitten
  • 11 Olly Woodburn
  • 10 Gareth Steenson
  • 9 Nic White
  • 8 Sam Simmonds
  • 7 Matt Kvesic
  • 6 Don Armand
  • 5 Sam Skinner
  • 4 Mitch Lees
  • 3 Tomas Francis
  • 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie
  • 1 Ben Moon
RESERVES
  • 22 Sam Hill
  • 21 Will Chudley
  • 20 Thomas Waldrom
  • 19 Jonny Hill
  • 18 Harry Williams
  • 17 Alec Hepburn
  • 16 Jack Yeandle
  • 15 Lachlan Turner
Mc article european champions cup trophy and logo 800

PREVIEW: Champions Cup, Round Four

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 13:29

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: After a tough weekend last time out in the European Champions Cup, Harlequins are the first of the Premiership sides looking to turn the tables in Round Four.

John Kingston’s side headline a packed Friday schedule across both the Champions and Challenge Cups as the second set of the back-to-back fixtures get underway.

Quins were downed in the snow at the Stoop by Ulster last Saturday, but get their immediate chance for revenge at the Kingspan.

There are few tougher trips than to Belfast under the Friday night lights, and Kingston has already conceded that his side are out of contention for the knockout stages in a competitive Pool One.

Ahead of the match, the Harlequins Director of Rugby said: "We were extremely disappointed to lose to Ulster at home last Sunday; ending our chances of qualification into the quarterfinals of the competition.

"That said, we are really looking forward to the match on Friday night and will be demanding a positive performance ahead of our return to the Premiership."

Quins will be without some of their international contingent, Chris Robshaw and Danny Care are suffering from head injuries while Joe Marler also picked up a knock.

Mike Brown and Tim Visser are on the bench but the likes of Marcus Smith and Jamie Roberts start in the back line and Kyle Sinckler – who scored a try against Ulster on Saturday – and skipper Dave Ward up front all start.

We take a look at all the Round Four action!

Friday, December 15:

Pool One:

Ulster v Harlequins
(Kingspan Stadium, Belfast - Kick-off: 19.45; 19.45 GMT)

The clubs have met four times previously, each winning two apiece. However, Ulster's two victories have come in their most recent with Harlequins including last weekend. Ulster have scored 19 points in each of their last two home games against Premiership opposition, enough for a one-point win over Exeter and a 10 point win against Wasps. Quins have won just twice on eight previous trips to Ireland, beating Ulster in 1996/97 and Connacht in Round Two of the 2012/13 season. The last time Ulster won a Round Three game away from home they then went on to lose the reverse fixture at home in Round Four (2012/13 v Northampton Saints).

Teams:

Ulster: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Craig Gilroy, 13 Louis Ludik, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 John Cooney, 8 Nick Timoney, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Iain Henderson (captain), 5 Kieran Treadwell, 4 Alan O'Connor, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Callum Black.
Replacements: 16 John Andrew, 17 Andy Warwick, 18 Ross Kane, 19 Matty Rea, 20 Sean Reidy, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Peter Nelson, 23 Andrew Trimble.

Harlequins: 15 Ross Chisholm, 14 Charlie Walker, 13 Winston Stanley, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Alofa Alofa, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Dave Ward (captain) 6 Archie White, 5 Charlie Matthews, 4 George Merrick, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Elia Elia, 1 Lewis Boyce. 
Replacements: 16 Charlie Piper, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Phil Swainston, 19 Mat Luamanu, 20 Dino Lamb, 21 James Lang, 22 Tim Visser, 23 Mike Brown.

Referee: Alexandre Ruiz (France)
Assistant referees: Ludovic Cayre (France), Cédric Clave (France)
TMO: Éric Briquet-Campin (France)

Saturday, December 16:

Pool Three:

Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors
(Altrad Stadium, Montpellier - Kick-off: 14.00; 13.00 UK Time; 13.00 GMT)

Glasgow have lost just one of the five previous meetings between the clubs (won three, drew one). However, that defeat was at Scotstoun in Round Three. This will be the third time Montpellier have hosted the Warriors, but they are yet to beat them at Altrad Stadium (drew one, lost one). Having won just once on their first 14 visits to France. Glasgow have now won twice on their last four excursions, including a 23-14 win over Racing 92 in their last such fixture. Glasgow are enduring their worst start to a Champions Cup campaign since losing their opening five pool games in 2012/13.

Teams:

Montpellier: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Gabriel N'gandebe, 13 Frans Steyn, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Benoit Paillaugue, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Julien Bardy, 6 Kelian Galletier, 5 Konstantine Mikautadze, 4 Nicholaas Van Rensburg, 3 Johannes Jonker, 2 Romain Ruffenach, 1 Grégory Fichten.
Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Mikheil Nariashvili, 18 Mohamed Haouas, 19 Julien Delannoy, 20 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 21 Enzo Sanga, 22 Henry Immelman, 23 Timoci Nagusa.

Glasgow: 15 Ruaridh Jackson, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Nick Grigg, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Lee Jones, 10 Peter Horne, 9 Ali Price, 8 Samu Vunisa, 7 Matt Smith, 6 Ryan Wilson, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Kiran McDonald, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Jamie Bhatti.
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Alex Allan, 18 Siosiua Halanukonuka, 19 Scott Cummings, 20 Chris Fusaro, 21 George Horne, 22 Finn Russell, 23 Niko Matawalu.

Referee: JP Doyle (England)
Assistant referees: Craig Maxwell-Keys (England), Simon McConnell (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)

Pool Five:

Benetton v Scarlets
(Stadio Comunale di Monigo, Treviso - Kick-off: 14.00; 13.00 UK Time; 13.00 GMT)

Scarlets have won four of the previous five meetings between the clubs, scoring over 30 points in each of those four victories. Benetton are unbeaten in their last three games when they have hosted Welsh opposition, all of these games coming against Ospreys. However, Scarlets have lost their last 10 away games in the Champions Cup, but they have picked up losing bonus points in their last two such fixtures. The Welsh region are aiming to win successive games for the first time since the opening two rounds of the 2011/12 season.

Teams: 

Benetton: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Tommy Allan, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Braam Steyn, 6 Seb Negri Da Oleggio, 5 Dean Budd, 4 Alessandro Zanni, 3 Tiziano Pasquali, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Federico Zani.
Replacements: 16 Tomas Baravalle, 17 Nicola Quaglio, 18 Cherif Traore, 19 Federico Ruzza, 20 Marco Barbini, 21 Edoardo Gori, 22 Ian McKinley, 23 Nacho Brex.

Scarlets: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Paul Asquith, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Will Boyde, 7 James Davies, 6 Tadhg Beirne, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Steven Cummins, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Rob Evans.
Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Simon Gardiner, 19 John Barclay, 20 Joshua Macleod, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Hadleigh Parkes, 23 Steff Hughes.

Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Mark Patton (Ireland), Richard Kerr (Ireland)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)

Pool Three:

Leinster v Exeter Chiefs:
(Aviva Stadium, Dublin - Kick-off: 15.15; 15.15 GMT)

Last weekend, Leinster became the first side to win at Sandy Park since Bordeaux-Bègles in Round Three last season (including Premiership matches). There were just 15 points scored when the clubs last met in Dublin, only once before have Leinster played out a lower scoring game at home (9-3 v Bordeaux in 1998/99). Exeter are still searching for their first Champions Cup win in Ireland, they did however beat Connacht in the Challenge Cup in January 2015. The 2004/05 season was the last time Leinster won their opening four pool games.

Teams:

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Isa Nacewa, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Luke McGrath, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Sean O'Brien, 5 Scott Fardy, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 James Tracy, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 James Ryan, 20 Dan Leavy, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Ross Byrne, 23 Jordan Larmour.

Exeter: 15 Lachlan Turner, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Nic White, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Don Armand, 5 Sam Skinner, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Tom Francis, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Jonny Hill, 20 Tom Waldrom, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Sam Hill, 23 James Short.

Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Tual Trainini (France), Mathieu Noirot (France)
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France)

Pool 4:

Racing 92 v Castres
(Stade Yves-Du-Manoir, Colombes - Kick-off: 16.15; 15.15 GMT)

This will be just the second meeting between the clubs in Europe, with Castres winning the first encounter in Round Three by 16-13. Racing have won all three previous matches when hosting Top 14 opposition in the Champions Cup. Similarly, Castres have lost both of their previous two away games against French opposition, losing to Perpignan in December 2006 and Montpellier 10 years later in December 2016. Since reaching the 2016 final Racing have won just twice (lost seven) and scored an average of 15 points per match.

Teams: 

Racing 92: 15 Juan Imhoff, 14 Louis Dupichot, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Anthony Tuitavke, 11 Virimi Vakatawa; 10 Rémi Tales, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Leone Nakarawa, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Edwin Maka, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 Cedate Gomes Sa, 2 Camille Chat, 1 Eddy Ben Arous.
Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Vasil Kakovin, 18 Ben Tameifuna, 19 Boris Palu, 20 Wenceslas Lauret, 21 Teddy Iribaren, 22 Antoine Gibert, 23 Joe Rokocoko.

Castres: 15 Julien Caminati, 14 Afusipa Taumoepeau, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Florian Vialelle, 11 Kylian Jaminet, 10 Yohan Le Bourhis, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Alex Tulou, 7 Steve Mafi, 6 Yannick Caballero, 5 Loic Jacquet, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Yohan Montes, 2 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 1 Tudor Stroe.
Replacements: 16 Kevin Firmin, 17 Mihaita Lazar, 18 Eric Sione, 19 Alexandre Bias, 20 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 21 Yohan Domenech, 22 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 23 Thomas Combezou.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Matthew Carley (England), Paul Dix (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

Pool Five:

Bath v Toulon
(The Recreation Ground, Bath - Kick-off: 17.30; 17.30 GMT; 18.30 France time)

Toulon have won all three matches between the clubs. However, the margin of victory has been between three and five points on each occasion. Bath have won just twice on the last seven occasions they have hosted a Top 14 side, the last team to visit being Toulon in 2015/16 (lost 14-19). Despite averaging just 14 points and only once scoring 20+ points, Toulon have still won five of eight games against Premiership opposition in England. They have both scored and conceded 114 points across those eight fixtures. Toulon have won three from three to date, but those wins have all come by fewer than five points.

Teams: 

Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Aled Brew, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Chris Cook, 8 Paul Grant, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Charlie Ewels, 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 Max Lahiff, 2 Tom Dunn, 1 Beno Obano.
Replacements: 16 Michael Van Vuuren, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Levi Douglas, 20 Zach Mercer, 21 Kahn Fotuali'i, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Jack Wilson.

Toulon: 15 Hugo Bonneval, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Chris Ashton, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Facundo Isa, 6 Juan Fernandez Lobbe, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Marcel Van Der Merwe, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Florian Fresia.
Replacements: 16 Anthony Etrillard, 17 Laurent Delboulbès, 18 Emerick Setiano, 19 Raphael Lakafia, 20 JP Pietersen, 21 Swan Rebbadj, 22 Eric Escande, 23 Juandre Kruger.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Ian Davies (Wales), Gwyn Morris (Wales)
TMO: Neil Hennessy (Wales)

Sunday, December 17:

Pool One:

Wasps v La Rochelle
(Ricoh Arena, Coventry - Kick-off: 13.00; 13.00 GMT; 14.00 France Time)

This will be the second meeting between the clubs after La Rochelle defeated Wasps 49-29 in Round Three. This was Wasps' heaviest defeat since Round Two v  Leinster (41-11) in 2008/09. La Rochelle won their first Champions Cup game in England against Harlequins in Round One. Previously, they had won just one of eight Challenge Cup games on English soil. Wasps drew their last game in France (v Toulouse). Wasps have lost twice already this season, and the last time they lost three pool games in the same campaign was in the 2005/06 season.

Teams: 

Wasps: 15 Willie Le Roux, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Juan De Jongh, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Thomas Young, 6 James Haskell, 5 James Gaskell, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Marty Moore, 2 Ashley Johnson, 1 Simon McIntyre.
Replacements: 16 Tom Cruse, 17 Ben Harris, 18 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Kyle Eastmond, 23 Gaby Lovobalavu.

La Rochelle: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Gabriel Lacroix, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Alexi Bales, 8 Kevin Gourdon, 7 Afa Amosa, 6 Zeno Kieft, 5 Thomas Jolmes, 4 Romain Sazy, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Hikairo Forbes, 1 Dany Priso.
Replacements: 16 Pierre Bourgarit, 17 Vincent Pelo, 18 Mohamed Boughanmi, 19 Gregory Lamboley, 20 Victor Vito, 21 Jean-Victor Goillot, 22 Brock James, 23 Pierre Boudehent.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Eddie Hogan-O'Connell (Ireland), Jonathan Peak (Ireland)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

Pool Two:

Ospreys v Northampton Saints
(Liberty Stadium, Swansea - Kick-off: 15.15; 15.15 GMT)

Ospreys' win in Round Three ended a run of four consecutive defeats against Northampton. Each of the previous five meetings between the clubs has been decided by margins of more than 10 points. Northampton have lost their last five away games, conceding an average of 36 points and scoring an average of just 13. Ospreys have won just one of their last five home games when hosting Premiership opposition. However, that was their last such game (v Exeter in Round One, 2015/16). Ospreys are aiming to win successive matches in the same season for the first time since a run of three victories in 2009/10 (Rounds Two, Three and Four).

Teams:

Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Ben John, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 Jeff Hassler; 10 Sam Davies, 9 Thomas Habberfield, 8 Olly Cracknell 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun-Wyn Jones, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Nicky Smith.
Replacements: 16 Scott Otten, 17 Paul James, 18 Ma'afu Fia, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Rob McCusker, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Dan Biggar, 23 Ashley Beck.

Northampton: 15 Harry Mallinder, 14 Ahsee Tuala, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Tom Stephenson, 11 Ben Foden, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Teimana Harrison 7 Tom Wood, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Michael Paterson, 4 David Ribbans, 3 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Francois van Wyk.
Replacements: 16 Reece Marshall, 17 Campese Ma'afu, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 Lewis Ludlam, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Luther Burrell, 23 Ken Pisi.

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant referees: Manuel Bottino (Italy), Matteo Liperini (Italy)
TMO: Stefano Pennè (Italy)

Pool Two:

Clermont v Saracens
(Stade Marcel-Michelin, Clermont-Ferrand - Kick-off: 16.15; 15.15 UK Time; 15.15 GMT)

ASM Clermont Auvergne have won six of the nine meetings between the clubs, including a 46-14 victory in Round Three – Saracens heaviest European defeat. Clermont have won their two previous home games against Saracens, with both wins coming by double digit margins. In fact, the Top 14 champions have won their last 12 home games against Premiership opposition. Sale Sharks in 2008/09 were the last English club to win at Marcel-Michelin. Alivereti Raka ran in a hat-trick at Allianz Park, the first time a Clermont player has scored three tries in a match since Round Five in 2011/12 when Julien Malzieu and Sitiveni Sivivatu both crossed three times against Aironi.

Teams: 

Clermont: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 David Strettle, 13 Damian Penaud, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Alivereti Raka, 10 Isaiah Toeava, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Fritz Lee 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Peceli Yato, 5 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 4 Flip Van Der Merwe, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Etienne Falgoux.
Replacements: 16 John Ulugia, 17 Raphael Chaume, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Paul Jedrasiak, 20 Viktor Kolelishvili, 21 Charly Trussardi, 22 Peter Betham, 23 Nick Abendanon.

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Alex Lozowski, 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Jackson Wray 7 Calum Clark, 6 Nick Isiekwe, 5 George Kruis, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Schalk Burger, 20 Ben Earl, 21 Tom Whiteley, 22 Nick Tompkins, 23 Nathan Earle.

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Nigel Correll (Ireland), John Carvill (Ireland)
TMO: Leo Colgan (Ireland)

Pool Four:

Leicester v Munster
(Welford Road, Leicester - Kick-off: 17.30; 17.30 GMT)

Each of the last four meetings between the clubs has been won by the home side on the day with Munster's last victory at Welford Road coming in Round One, 2006/07. Tigers have lost just two of their last 36 home games, those defeats coming at the hands of Glasgow and Ulster. Munster have gone three games unbeaten on the road, they've not got on a longer such run since a run of five wins between December 2005 and January 2007. Only once in Munster's last 13 games have they conceded 20+ points (10-26 defeat to Saracens in last season's semifinal).

Teams: 

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Sione Kalamafoni 7 Mike Williams, 6 Tino Mapapalangi, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Michael Fitzgerald, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Kyle Traynor.
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Chris Baumann, 19 Dom Barrow, 20 Luke Hamilton, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Nick Malouf.

Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Darren Sweetnam, 13 Sam Arnold, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Alex Wootton, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Christiaan Stander 7 Chris Cloete, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Billy Holland, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Kevin O'Byrne, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Brian Scott, 18 John Ryan, 19 Darren O'Shea, 20 Jack O'Donoghue, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Keith Earls.

Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Tual Trainini (France), Mathieu Noirot (France)
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France)

@ChampionsCup & @premrugby

Mc article leinster v exeter chiefs 2017 800

Leinster fight back to beat Chiefs

Sat, 16 Dec 2017 16:45

CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Leinster tightened their grip on European Rugby Champions Cup Pool Three with a tense 22-17 triumph over Exeter Chiefs in a classic continental encounter at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Scrumhalf Luke McGrath scored the lone try of the match for the hosts in Dublin 14 minutes from time as Leinster Rugby completed back-to-back victories over the reigning Aviva Premiership champions to move five points clear at the Pool Three summit and one step closer to a quarter-final berth.

Exeter Chiefs came out with vengeance as they sought to right their Round Three wrongs, with lock Sam Skinner crossing in the opening try of the match just three minutes in.

Isa Nacewa reduced the Leinster deficit by three from the kicking tee, before a fiercely-contested affair heated up with the home side reduced to 14 men as Cian Healy was shown a yellow card.

Exeter Chiefs were unable to make their numerical advantage pay, but Gareth Steenson did push the visitors further in front before the break with a penalty kick as well as a conversion as Luke Cowan-Dickie forced his way over the whitewash as the visitors took a 17-9 lead into the break, with Nacewa penalties the lone Leinster riposte.

In an attritional affair, Nacewa continued to chip away for Leinster, adding another two three-pointers to bring the hosts within two points of Exeter Chiefs.

McGrath clinched victory, much to the delight of a raucous Dublin crowd, after an excellent break from Dan Leavy released the Leinster scrumhalf to flew over the line.

The scorers:

For Leinster:
Try: McGrath
Con: Nacewa
Pens: Nacewa 5

For Exeter Chiefs:
Tries: Skinner, Cowan-Dickie
Cons: Steenson 2
Pens: Steenson

Yellow cards: Cian Healy (Leinster, 17 - foul play, dangerous charge); Scott Fardy (Leinster, 31 - cynical play, collapsing the maul) 

Teams:

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Isa Nacewa, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Luke McGrath, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Sean O'Brien, 5 Scott Fardy, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 James Tracy, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 James Ryan, 20 Dan Leavy, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Ross Byrne, 23 Jordan Larmour.

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Lachlan Turner, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Nic White, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Don Armand, 5 Sam Skinner, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Tom Francis, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Jonny Hill, 20 Tom Waldrom, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Sam Hill, 23 James Short.

Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Tual Trainini (France), Mathieu Noirot (France)
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France)

@ChampionsCup

Luke McGrath (66min)
TRIES
Sam Skinner (2min) and Luke Cowan-Dickie (30min)
Isa Nacewa (67min)
CONVERSIONS
Gareth Steenson (3min) and Gareth Steenson (32min)
Isa Nacewa (11min), Isa Nacewa (38min), Isa Nacewa (40min), Isa Nacewa (56min), and Isa Nacewa (63min)
PENALTIES
Gareth Steenson (28min)
 
PENALTY TRIES
 
DROP GOALS
Cian Healy (17min) and Scott Fardy (31min)
 
 
VENUE Aviva Stadium
REFEREE Mathieu Raynal