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Leicester Tigers

European Cup | Thomond Park
19:45 (GMT) | 09-12-2017
  • 83
Join us tomorrow when Saracens take on Clermont
  • 82
Munster hold and walk it out of play. FULL TIME
  • 81
Another penalty to the away side and they kick into touch at the 5. They take it and opt for a maul
  • 80
Leicester looking for one last try to end it but Munster not having any of it
  • 79
Scrum to the visitors after the throw
  • 78
The referee calls play back for a penalty as the visitors played under advantage. They kick into touch for a 5 meter throw
  • 77
They make it inside the 22 and the ball is kicked forward looking for a runner but the defence reads it and the ball is ran dead
  • 76
Line-out at the 22 of the hosts and Leicester attempt to maul
  • 75
Munster turnover and look to counter but give away a penalty. The ball is kicked into touch
  • 74
Leicester still fighting to make their way to the 22 of the hosts but find no space to do so
  • 73
Penalty to the away team following the scrum. They kick into touch at the 10 of the hosts
  • 72
Munster build from the 10 now after the throw but they lose it forward in the attack. Scrum to the visitors at the away team 22
  • 71
Leicester with an unforced error and Munster kick into touch outside the 22
  • 70
Scrum to the visitors after the restart. Scrum at the home team 10 reset
  • 68
The conversion kick is wide
  • 67
They take the throw and Cloete is the man that is thrown over the line with the help of his team in the maul. TRY
  • 66
The restart kick is deep and Munster push forward. They win a penalty and kick into touch at the at the 5
  • 65
Ford secures the extras
  • 64
Leicester have another chance with the line-out. Thacker is the man that drives his team over the line with a maul. TRY to the visitors
  • 63
Leicester make it over the line and look to be scoring their first try but it's ripped out from the pile and taken to the 5 and into touch
  • 62
Penalty to Leicester in the scrum and they kick into touch at the 5
  • 61
The ball is tackled into touch and it's lost forward. Scrum to the away team
  • 60
Munster steal the ball from the away team as the visitors look to create some movement with the ball
  • 59
The ball lost forward as Munster press forward and the visitors have a scrum at their 10
  • 58
The restart kick is deep but Munster control it and clear
  • 57
The conversion kick is sent wide
  • 55
The Leicester scrum shoved back but they still manage to pull it out and clear. Munster use their momentum to rush forward and play it along the wing for the captain who roles over the line to score the TRY
  • 54
Scrum to the visitors inside their 22 now
  • 53
They exit their half and the referee stops play for an infringement by the visitors. Penalty to Munster and they boot it into touch
  • 52
Leicester win the scrum and rush to the 22 but the ball is held up for a maul. Munster win the turnover
  • 51
The ball lost forward after the throw. Scrum to the hosts at their 22
  • 50
Line-out to the away team at their 22. They win a penalty and the visitors have chance to form an attack from a more promising area
  • 49
The hosts come again after the ball is lobbed out field. They rush forward this time around. They make it inside the 22 but lose it again
  • 48
Munster are held at the 22. They lose out and Leicester clear
  • 47
The ball lost forward again after the throw and the hosts have another scrum
  • 46
Scrum reset again. The ball goes into touch after it's puled out the back. Line-out for the hosts at the 22 of the visitors
  • 45
Scrum reset
  • 44
The ball lost forward in contact and Munster have a scrum around the away team 22
  • 42
Munster applying intense pressure early in the second half. They make it inside the 5 and look to be scoring be Leicester rip it away at the last and clear
  • 41
The second half is underway

Half Time

  • 40
The referee stops play and blows for HALF TIME
  • 39
The referee halts play for a penalty. The ball is kicked into touch
  • 38
Line-out after the restart. Leicester struggling to make it to the 22 as Munster show a strong defensive line
  • 37
Keatley restores the 20 point lead
  • 36
The referee awards the hosts a penalty for a neck role on Cloete around the 22
  • 35
Ford opens his team's account for this fixture
  • 34
They win another penalty at the 5 and decide to look for 3 points
  • 33
Penalty to the away team after the restart and they kick into touch at the 5 for a good attacking move after being on the defence for some time
  • 32
Keatley secures the extras
  • 30
The home team inside the 22 now. They lob it over the top and Simon Zebo materializes into the space to plant it down for a TRY.
  • 29
The hosts carry it forward and the ball is tackled into touch at the 10 of the visitors
  • 28
Leicester having to work hard to make it to the 22. They lose it and look to counter ruck a few times but Munster give no quarter
  • 27
Both teams partaking in a kicking contest until Munster kick into touch around the mid field
  • 26
Keatley with another lengthy preparation and it pays off. 3 points
  • 24
Penalty to the hosts around the 10 of Leicester
  • 23
They take it and relieve some of the pressure. Line-out to the hosts around the mid field
  • 22
Leicester driven back after the restart kick. Munster with all the momentum in the opening quarter. The ball is sent over the top and it goes into touch after a few bounces. Line-out inside the 22 of the away team
  • 21
Keatley secures the extras
  • 20
The ball is kicked into touch. They take the line-out and Munster moving around outside the 5 with confidence. They send it along the line and Marshall gets it as he steps into a gap. He goes over to score the first TRY
  • 19
The ball slips out the back and they move it along the half way but gift Munster a penalty
  • 18
The ball being kicked around in the mid field and it's tackled into touch. The referee calls play back for a scrum to the visitors at the half way
  • 16
They lose the ball after the line-out and Munster clear. The visitors come again and make it to the 22 only for the ball to be cleared again. Leicester rinse and repeat
  • 15
Leicester in possession now and they work hard to get back into the home team half. They secure a penalty and the ball is kicked into touch inside the 22
  • 14
Line-out taken and Munster win a penalty just inside the away team half
  • 12
The visitors win a turnover and clear. The ball bounces into touch at the half way for a Munster throw
  • 11
Scrum reset
  • 10
The ball lost forward in contact inside the Leicester 10 and the hosts have a scrum
  • 8
The reset kick is promptly cleared and the loose ball is kept in by the hosts, who have it at the half way
  • 6
Keatley steps up after some preparation. He opens the scoring with 3 points
  • 4
Leicester hold the hosts at the 5 but at the cost of a penalty
  • 3
Munster manage to break through the middle and rush into the 22. The crowd with the home team now as they press forward with zeal
  • 1
Munster running it inside the 10 of the visitors but lose. Leicester do the same and the ball changes hands a few times between the players as they warm their hands
  • 0
The referee sounds his whistle and we're off
  • -3
The players readying themselves to exit the locker rooms now
  • -5
No side in Europe has gained more metres than their 502 with ball in hand while Mathew Tait has been the creative fulcrum with three try assists already.
  • -10
This is the third season in a row that the sides have met in the pool stage, with Leicester winning three of the previous four meetings between the clubs.
  • -15
Munster and Leicester Tigers, arch-rivals in Europe, will clash for the ninth and tenth times in the back-to-back fixtures with Leicester currently ahead in the bragging rights by five wins to Munster’s three.
  • -30
Welcome to Thomond Park for tonight's Champion's Cup fixture: Munster vs Leicester
Mc munster ed
Mc leicester tigers80
Leicester Tigers
  • 15 Simon Zebo
  • 14 Andrew Conway
  • 13 Owen Farrell
  • 12 Niall Scannell
  • 11 Keith Earls
  • 10 Ian Keatley
  • 9 Conor Murray
  • 8 Christiaan Stander
  • 7 Conor Oliver
  • 6 Jack O'Donoghue
  • 5 Darren O'Shea
  • 4 Jean Kleyn
  • 3 John Ryan
  • 2 Rhys Marshall
  • 1 David Kilcoyne
  • 23 Darren Sweetnam
  • 22 Bill Johnston
  • 21 Duncan Williams
  • 20 Peter O'Mahony
  • 19 Robin Copeland
  • 18 Stephan Archer
  • 17 James Cronin
  • 16 Mike Sherry
  • 16 Mathew Tait
  • 15 Nick Malouf
  • 13 Gareth Owen
  • 12 Matt Toomua
  • 11 Jonny May
  • 10 George Ford
  • 9 Ben Youngs
  • 8 Sione Kalamafoni
  • 7 Brendon O'Connor
  • 6 Mike Williams
  • 5 Graham Kitchener
  • 4 Harry Wells
  • 3 Dan Cole
  • 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau
  • 1 Greg Bateman
  • 24 Adam Thompstone
  • 23 Joe Ford
  • 22 Sam Harrison
  • 21 Valentino Mapapalangi
  • 20 Michael Fitzgerald
  • 19 Logovi'i Mulipola
  • 18 Michele Rizzo
  • 17 Tom Youngs
Mc article alex goode saracens 800

Preview: Champions Cup, Round Three

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 16:24

EUROPEAN SPOTLIGHT: European heavyweights will be vying for supremacy when the Champions Cup returns with the top two clubs in each pool kicking off the key back-to-back fixtures.

In a repeat of last season's compelling final, holders Saracens put their 20-match unbeaten run in the competition to the test against ASM Clermont Auvergne at Allianz Park.

Alex Goode scored the match-clinching try back in May at BT Murrayfield Stadium and is in line for his 50th appearance in the European Cup if selected for Sunday's Pool 2 encounter.

There are two other fixtures between former competition winners as three-time champions RC Toulon entertain 1998 winners Bath Rugby while Munster Rugby face Leicester Tigers for the ninth time.

Glasgow Warriors will welcome some familiar faces at Scotstoun against Montpellier on Friday. The visitors' Head Coach, Vern Cotter, and Forwards Coach, Nathan Hines, performed the same roles for Scotland last season.

Other key points ahead of Round Three:

* As they look to steal a march on Premiership champions Exeter Chiefs in Pool Three, Leinster Rugby know that a win at Sandy Park will be their 100th in the competition.

* La Rochelle have enjoyed life in European club rugby's blue riband competition thus far, having won both matches in their debut season with a points haul of 75 eclipsed only by Saracens. They play host to a Wasps side hoping to build on their impressive Round Two win over Harlequins.

We look at all the Round Three action!

Friday, December  8

Pool Three

Glasgow v Montpellier
(Scotstoun Stadium -Kick-off: 19.45, 19.45 GMT)

The four previous meetings have seen 120 points scored in total, at an average of 30 per game.

Glasgow Warriors have lost their last three Champions Cup games, their worst run since losing seven consecutive matches from January 2012 to January 2013.

Montpellier have lost their last nine games away from home, although they've secured a losing bonus point in three of their last four such games.

Nemani Nadolo has beaten 20 defenders after just two games, nine more than any other player in the Champions Cup this season.


Glasgow Warriors: 15 Ruaridh Jackson, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ali Price, 8 Samuela Vunisa, 7 Callum Gibbins, 6 Ryan Wilson, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Scott Cummings, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 George Turner, 1 James Bhatti
Replacements: 16 James Malcolm, 17 Alex Allan, 18 Siua Halanukonuka, 19 Kiran McDonald, 20 Matt Smith, 21 George Horne, 22 Peter Horne, 23 Niko Matawalu

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

Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant referees: Greg Macdonald (England), Andrew Jackson (England)
TMO: Stuart Terheege (England)

Saturday, December 9

Pool Five:

Scarlets v Benetton
(Parc y Scarlets - Kick-off: 13.00, 13.00 GMT, 14.00 Italy time)

Scarlets have not won their last two Championship matches, while their opposition Benetton suffered the same fate.

The visitors came close to a victory in  Round Two, but Toulon proved too good for the Italians who had to settle for a 29-30 defeat.

The two sides have played four games, three went in the Scarlets' favour - giving the hosts an extra bit of confidence to bag the win.


Scarlets: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Paul Asquith, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 John Barclay, 7 James Davies, 6 Tadhg Beirne, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Steven Cummins, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Ken Owens (captain), 1 Wyn Jones.
Replacements: 16 Taylor Davies, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Simon Gardiner, 19 Lewis Rawlins, 20 Josh Macleod, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Steff Hughes, 23 Tom Prydie.

Benetton: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Tommy Allan, 9 Giorgio Bronzini, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Seb Negri Da Oleggio, 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Marco Lazzaroni, 3 Tiziano Pasquali, 2 Hame Faiva, 1 Nicola Quaglio.
Replacements: 16 Luca Bigi, 17 Federico Zani, 18 Alberto de Marchi, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Whetu Douglas, 21 Tito Tebaldi, 22 Ian McKinley, 23 Luca Morisi.

Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Tual Trainini (France), Mathieu Noirot (France)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)

Pool Five

Toulon v Bath
(Stade Felix Mayol - Kick-off: 16.15, 15.15 GMT)

Toulon have been securing some close matches in Round one their walked away with a narrow 21-20 win over Scarlets, while ROund Two saw them bagged 30-29 away win against Benetton.

Bath have been in a more comfortable position. The English Premiership side scored a 23-0 win over Benetton in Round two, while Scarlets proved to be a challenge but in the end, Bath made sure they take an 18-13 win home.

However, the Premiership side do not have a great record against Toulon.

The two sides have played two matches, which went in favour of Toulon.


Toulon: 15 Chris Ashton, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Semi Radradra, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Raphael Lakafia, 6 Juan Fernandez Lobbe, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Levan Chilachava, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Florian Fresia.
Replacements: 16 Anthony Etrillard, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Marcel Van Der Merwe, 19 Facundo Isa, 20 Anthony Belleau, 21 JP Pietersen, 22 Anthony Meric, 23 Juandre Kruger.

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

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: George Clancy (Ireland), John Carvill (Ireland)
TMO: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

Pool Two:

Northampton Saints v Ospreys
(Franklin's Gardens - Kick-off: 17.30, 17.30 GMT)

Ospreys and Northampton Saints find themselves in similar positions in their pool – both winless and up against it to make the knockout rounds.

The Welsh region come to Franklin’s Gardens to take on an out-of-form Saints that have lost their last five in a row in all competitions.

Saints have also lost six of their last seven games in the Champions Cup, including the last three in a row.

However, Jim Mallinder’s side have beaten the Ospreys in all four of the club’s previous meetings.

And should they cross the whitewash at Franklin’s Gardens, it will be the 250th top-flight European try for the club who lifted the title back in 2000.

The battle of the goal-kickers should be key – not least because discipline has been a problem for Saints who have conceded three yellow cards in their last two games.

Saints and Ospreys are two of just four sides to maintain a 100% kicking success rate this season.

Throw in the fact that Dan Biggar is heading to Northampton next season – and all eyes will be on the kicking tee on Saturday.


Northampton: 15 Harry Mallinder, 14 Ahsee Tuala, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Ben Foden, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Teimana Harrison, 7 Lewis Ludlam, 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Christian Day, 4 David Ribbans, 3 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Francois van Wyk.
Replacements: 16 Mikey Haywood, 17 Campese Ma’afu, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Michael Paterson, 20 Jamie Gibson, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Stephen Myler, 23 JP Estelles.

Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Hanno Dirksen, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 Jeff Hassler, 10 Sam Davies, 9 Tom Habberfield, 8 James King, 7 Olly Cracknell, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Nicky Smith.
Replacements: 16 Scott Otten, 17 Rowan Jenkins, 18 Ma’afu Fia, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Rob McCusker, 21 Reuben Morgan-Williams, 22 James Hook, 23 Ben John.

Referee: Alexandre Ruiz (France)
Assistant referees: Thomas Charabas (France), Laurent Cardona (France)
TMO: Éric Briquet Campin (France)

Pool Four

Castres Olympique v Racing 92
(Stade Pierre Fabre - Kick-off: 18.30, 17.30 GMT)

Castres pulled off a surprise 17-all draw with Munster in Round One.

However, the following week the French fell short as they suffered a 29-54 defeat to Premiership side Leicester Tigers.

Racing have one victory to their name. The French giants handed Leicester Tigers a 18-22 defeat in Paris.

In Round Two, Munster - under the guidance of Rassie Erasmus -  made sure their hand Racing their first defeat.

The two French sides have never played each other in this Competiton, which sets up an enticing encounter.


Castres: 15 Armand Batlle, 14 Afusipa Taumoepeau, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Florian Vialelle, 11 David Smith, 10 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 9 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 8 Maama Vaipulu, 7 Mathieu Babillot, 6 Yannick Caballero, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Thibault Lassalle, 3 Daniel Kotze, 2 Jody Jenneker, 1 Antoine Tichit.
Replacements: 16 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 17 Tudor Stroe, 18 Yohan Montes, 19 Steve Mafi, 20 Loic Jacquet, 21 Rory Kockott, 22 Yohan Le Bourhis, 23 Kylian Jaminet.

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

Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Ian Tempest (England), Paul Dix (England)
TMO: Dave Grashoff (England)

Pool Four

Munster v Leicester Tigers
(Thomand Park - Kick-off: 19.45, 19.45 GMT)

Munster and Leicester Tigers, arch-rivals in Europe, will clash for the ninth and tenth times in the back-to-back fixtures with Leicester currently ahead in the bragging rights by five wins to Munster’s three.

This is the third season in a row that the sides have met in the pool stage, with Leicester winning three of the previous four meetings between the clubs.

The Tigers are the only side to travel to Munster and win more than once, having done so in both 2006/07 and 2015/16.

But Munster claimed the bragging rights last season as they beat Leicester 38-0 at Thomond Park – the Tigers’ second-heaviest defeat in Europe.

The Tigers’ attacking threat this season in a pool that also includes Castres and Racing 92 has been clear to see.

No side in Europe has gained more metres than their 502 with ball in hand while Mathew Tait has been the creative fulcrum with three try assists already.

After a storming six-match winning run in the league, Matt O’Connor’s side have just ever so slightly gone off the boil and two losses on the spin have dropped them to sixth in the Premiership.

They did however claim a losing bonus point at Racing 92 and a four-try bonus point in routing Castres at Welford Road to sit narrowly top of the pool as it stands.


Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Andrew Conway, 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 (captain), 5 Billy Holland, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Kevin O’Byrne, 17 Brian Scott, 18 John Ryan, 19 Darren O’Shea, 20 Jack O’Donoghue, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Darren Sweetnam.

Leicester: 15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Mathew Tait, 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Luke Hamilton, 6 Valentino Mapapalangi, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Mike Fitzgerald, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs (captain), 1 Kyle Traynor.
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Chris Baumann, 19 Dom Barrow, 20 Mike Williams, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Nick Malouf.

Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: Ludovic Cayre (France), Jonathan Dufort (France)
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France)

Sunday, December 10

Pool One

Harlequins v Ulster
(The Twickenham Stoop - Kick-off: 13.00, 13.00 GMT)

These two clubs have met three times in Europe but the most recent was all the way back in 2009.

While Quins remain winless in Europe, this season they welcome the Ulstermen to the Stoop on the back of a morale-boosting win last time out.

Danny Care inspired them to victory over defending European champions Saracens in the league to reinvigorate a season that appeared to be slipping into mediocrity.

In Europe they lost at home to La Rochelle in their tournament opener before being put to the sword by Wasps at the Ricoh.

Defeat to Ulster would be their third in a row at home in Europe for the first time since the 2009/10 season and would effectively end their qualification hopes.

But Ulster will need to be aware of their attacking threat, no side in the whole of the competition has made as many as their 32 offloads so far.


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

Ulster: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Craig Gilroy, 13 Tommy Bowe, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Christian Lealiifa, 9 John Cooney, 8 Nick Timoney, 7 Sean Reidy, 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 Chris Henry, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Peter Nelson, 23 Louis Ludik

Referee: Pascal Gaüzère (France)
Assistant referees: Maxime Chalon (France), Jean-Luc Rebollal (France)
TMO: Éric Gauzins (France)

Pool One

La Rochelle v Wasps
(Stade Marcel-Defaldre -Kick-off: 14.00, 13.00 UK Time, 13.00 GMT)

La Rochell head into this encounter with a clean-sheet. The French side have produced wins over Harlequins and Ulster, respectively.  

While Wasps ran out confirmable winners against Harlequins in Round Two - producing  a 41-10 win.

The Premiership side have been in fine form and securing a win over La Rochelle in France would be an added bonus for Dai Young.


La Rochelle: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Jérémy Sinzelle, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Pierre Aguillon, 11 Vincent Rattez, 10 Brock James, 9 Alexi Bales, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Botia Veivuke, 6 Zeno Kieft, 5 Thomas Jolmes, 4 Jason Eaton, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Pierre Bourgarit, 1 Dany Priso.
Replacements: 16 Jeremie Maurouard, 17 Hikairo Forbes, 18 Mohamed Boughanmi, 19 Romain Sazy, 20 Kevin Gourdon, 21 Jean-Victor Goillot, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Rene Ranger.

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 Nizaam Carr, 7 Thomas Young, 6 James Haskell, 5 James Gaskell, 4 Joe Launchbury (captain), 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Ashley Johnson, 1 Simon McIntyre. 
Replacements: 16 Tom Cruse, 17 Ben Harris, 18 Marty Moore, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Jack Willis, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Kyle Eastmond, 23 Gaby Lovobalavu.

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: David Wilkinson (Ireland), Kieran Barry (Ireland)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

Pool Two:

Saracens v Clermont
(Allianz Park - Kick-off: 15.15, 15.15 GMT)

In the repeat of last year's final, Saracens head into the clash on an unbeaten run.

The Champions Cup holders survived an Ospreys scare in Round Two and manufactured a 36-34 win at Allianz Park.

Clermont also head into this encounter unbeaten. They produced a comfortable 24-7 win over Saints at home.  However, facing the champs in England will be a huge obstacle.

The two sides have locked horns eight times in the Champions Cup competitions. Saracens won three, Clermont five.


Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Brad Barritt (captain), 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Calum Clark, 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 Nick Isiekwe, 20 Ben Earl, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 Nathan Earle.

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

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Ben Whitehouse, Wayne Davies
TMO: Jon Mason (Wales)

Pool Three:

Exeter Chiefs v Leinster
(Sandy Park - Kick-off 17.30, 17.30 GMT)

Arguably the most enticing of all the clashes in Europe this season, two in-form sides clash at Sandy Park on Sunday.

The Chiefs are making an impressive defence of their maiden Premiership crown – sitting top of the table and eight points clear this time around.

In Europe they are also breaking new ground, never before had they kicked off a campaign with two wins from two.

They battled hard to down Glasgow Warriors at Sandy Park before an incredible late win in Montpellier in round two.

Leinster are in fine form themselves but they will need to be prepared to put in a serious shift in defence.

Despite having the lowest ruck success rate (95%), the Chiefs have enjoyed the longest time in possession this season, holding onto the ball for 21 minutes and 15 seconds on average.

Gareth Steenson meanwhile needs six points to reach 200 for the tournament as the Chiefs chase a third win in a row in Europe for the first time in the club’s history.

Keep an eye out also for the battle of the hookers– Jack Yeandle has made more successful lineout throws than any other No.2 (25/28) but Sean Cronin’s 100% success rate (14/14) is the best in the competition.


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

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

Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Cyril Lafon (France), Stéphane Boyer (France)
TMO: Éric Gonthier (France)

Mc article munster v leicester.800

Munster power past Leicester

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 19:15

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Munster Rugby picked up a crucial bonus point victory against Leicester Tigers on Saturday.

Munster came out 33-10 victors at Thomond Park in a match that has given the Irish province a four-point cushion at the top of European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 4.

Johann van Graan's men got off to a flying start and went 10 points ahead inside 20 minutes after a penalty from Ian Keatley and a try from Rhys Marshall who had to juggle the ball before going over.

Simon Zebo then exploded into life, scoring to extend the Munster lead before the sides exchanged penalties prior to the interval, giving the Irish province a 20-point cushion at the break.

Peter O'Mahony effectively clinched the match for Munster just before the hour mark after two slick offloads from Zebo and replacement Darren Sweetnam set up O'Mahony for the simple finish.

Harry Thacker scored Leicester's sole try late on, but not before Chris Cloete rounded the evening off with a powerful drive and subsequent try, much to the delight of the Thomond Park faithful.

The two sides will meet again next weekend at Welford Road, with Leicester needing a victory to close the gap on their Pool 4 rivals.

The scorers:

For Munster:
: Marshall, Zebo, O'Mahony, Cloete
Cons: Keatley 2
Pens: Keatley 3

For Leicester:
Con: Ford
Pen: Ford

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

Leicester: 15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Mathew Tait, 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Luke Hamilton, 6 Valentino Mapapalangi, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Mike Fitzgerald, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs (captain), 1 Kyle Traynor
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Chris Baumann, 19 Dom Barrow, 20 Mike Williams, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Nick Malouf

Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: Ludovic Cayre (France), Jonathan Dufort (France)
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France)

Rhys Marshall (20min), Simon Zebo (30min), and Peter O'Mahony (55min)
Ian Keatley (21min) and Ian Keatley (32min)
George Ford (65min)
Ian Keatley (6min), Ian Keatley (26min), and Ian Keatley (37min)
George Ford (35min)
VENUE Thomond Park