Leinster confirmed their status as the favourites to lift the Champions Cup in the Stade Velodrome in Montpellier on May 28th, after a commanding 23-14 victory away to Leicester in the quarter-finals.
Leicester have been excellent this season. They had gone unbeaten in the Champions Cup, and currently lead the Gallagher Premiership. After years of underperforming, Welford Road is once again a very tough venue to travel to, and they are well on their path to restoring themselves to their former glory.
Leinster however appear to be a cut above the rest season. They are battle-hardened and hurting from three years of tough knockout losses in a row and it seems to have has given them extra motivation this season.
Big Talk From Leicester's Hard Men
"It’s a real tough game for us but we are not plucky losers,” said Genge. “We’re not that type of team. If we lose it will be because we are supposed to lose and we didn’t fight hard enough, so it will all be on us.
"I’m not going to let people build the manifestation of Leinster being the European giants that they are. They have got to come to our backyard so… It is our gaff, it’s not the Aviva.”
Leicester’s no. 8 Jasper Wiese had similar sentiments: “We front up and make it personal. They’ve already said that they think they can beat us. I’m choosing to take it personally. If you’re not making everything personal, especially against a top team like Leinster, you’re going to get dominated.”
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Leinster’s first half dominance set the tone for the win and they lead 20-0 at the break, courtesy of two Johnny Sexton penalties and converted tries from Josh Van Der Flier and Robbie Henshaw.
Leicester did roar back for a period in the second-half, but could only muster a single try from Chris Ashton despite their purple patch. Ashton is of course the all-time top try scorer in Heineken Cup history, and today’s try takes his tally to 41.
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A Ross Byrne penalty in the 66th minute put Leinster three scores ahead, as they continued to hold Leicester out while calculatedly slowing the game as the minutes counted down.
Leicester managed a consolation try through when Nic Dolly scored off a maul, but it was too little too late, as Leinster march onto a semi-final meeting with Toulouse in the Aviva Stadium.