Leinster v Toulouse, Champions Cup

James Lowe has had a healthy try scoring habit since joining Leinster, he's likely to feature in this Champions Cup semi-final

Conor Quigley looks forward to Champions Cup semi-final meeting of Leinster and Toulouse at the Aviva Stadium, Sunday 21 Apr, 3:15pm KO

Last Time Out:

The quarter-finals are now done and dusted; they offered us four great games.

We saw both Munster and Leinster escaped elimination with a lucky victories. Saracens showed their dominance against a poor Glasgow side.

Finally, Toulouse shocked almost everyone by beating Racing away.

If you were lucky enough to follow any of our tips for the last round, three out of the four came up. The only thing that stopped the full house was an amazing performance by Ulster.

We now turn our attention to the semi-finals, which offers us two mouth-watering games.

On Sunday, Leinster host Toulouse in a ‘neutral’ Aviva Stadium on Easter Sunday.

See Bar One Racing’s Leinster v Toulouse match betting here

Leinster v Toulouse – Sunday 21st April (BT Sport 2)

The men in blue take on Toulouse for the third time in this year’s Champions Cup, with both sides scoring a victory each.

Leinster go into the game as favourites despite the fact they narrowly and luckily won their quarter-final against Ulster. If Jacob Stockdale did not drop the ball as he attempted to ground it for a try Ulster would likely have won.

Despite the fact that last year’s champions have reached the semi-final stage, they have yet to play to their full potential.

They will need to be on form to beat this travelling Toulouse side.

The Leinster faithful were happy to see the return of Robbie Henshaw and Devin Toner last week against Glasgow. Both players will boost the confidence in the side.

The return of Toner will most likely see him start ahead of Scott Fardy in the second row. With Fardy being dropped that opens the door for a foreign player to start and that man is James Lowe. He brings something extra to the backline adding pace, power and an element of unpredictability.

Despite Leinster being boosted by the return of these players, the big return is that of Sexton.

It is fair to say Sexton has not reached his heights of last season yet. However, this game offers him the chance to kick on for the rest of the season and hopefully carry that form to the World Cup.

The Blues needs Sexton to play well to beat a Toulouse team full of confidence.

The French side enter this game after pulling off the victory of the quarter-final.

Not only did they beat a very good Racing side at home, they did it with 14 men.

They played over 60 minutes without their starting fly half, this adds massively to the fact that they managed to win the game.

They undoubtedly deserve their spot in the semi-final; however for them to beat Leinster at home will be a massive task.

They were unable to do it when the two sides met in the pool stages in Dublin. On that occasion Leinster won convincingly 29-13.

Typically French teams do not travel well and I don’t see this being anything different.

I believe this is a game too far for Toulouse, they rode their luck a lot against Racing. Leinster are a different beast.

Racing play a loose off the cuff style of game and that played into Toulouse hands being a man down. If Racing had played a more structured game, and exploited the man advantage then they would have won.

There’s few teams better than the four-time European champions at choking a team of possession and forcing them to make mistakes.

Verdict:

I’m backing Leinster -6 to win at 10/11

 

 



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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article