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The Leinster Player Ratings After Thrashing Glasgow And Cruising Into Quarter-Finals

The Leinster Player Ratings After Thrashing Glasgow And Cruising Into Quarter-Finals
By Maurice Brosnan
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Leinster knew precisely what was required for today's home clash against Glasgow. Win the game and they qualify as group winners. Should they run in four tries and land a bonus point, they were likely to have a home quarter-final too. They did that and then some, winning on a scoreline of 55 - 19.

Glasgow had nothing to play for and it showed. After an initial fight, their resistance wilted and Leinster ran through the gears to secure a home quarter-final with a week to spare. They are deservedly favourites for the Champions Cup, and among the teams touting up next weeks permutations, a key consideration will be avoiding a trip to the RDS.


15. Jordan Larmour - 7

A constant threat on the wing but Leinster's dominance inside meant they never really needed Larmour to break the gain-line. However, he was called upon twice defensively and both times made superb cover tackles. Has all the attributes to become a world-class talent at any position in the back-three.

14. Fergus McFadden - 7

Caught for the second try which ensured he ended with the bizarre statistic of missing as many tackles as he made. Nevertheless conducted himself well offensively, particularly with his dedicated kick-chasing.

13. Robbie Henshaw - 9

The bits and pieces man. Henshaw was outstanding today and the rounded nature of his game makes him a prized asset for the province and country. His kick-chase was excellent and his defensive game is exceptional, particularly given the rapid line-speed he brings when at second-centre.

12. Isa Nacewa (captain) - 8

Great line for a scissors-switch with Sexton led to his first try. Has the ability to slot in at any spot in the Leinster back-line, and look totally at home while doing so.


11. James Lowe - 6

Celebrated a big hit like a try early on, then got his try and jogged calmly back to the half-way line. The effect we hear Lowe has within the camp is evident on the field; he is a live-wire in both a positive and negative sense. Made a horrendous error for Glasgow's last try that will massively concern Lancaster. Headlessly shot up and left Glasgow with an easy finish. Defensive structures are only as good as the sum or their parts and cannot compensate for individual errors like that one.

10. Johnny Sexton - 7

Every time Sexton goes to ground there is real concern, even more so when it is a knock to the head. Sexton was replaced early in the second-half after a bright first period which saw him land a try for his efforts. Will fall to Cullen to manage his game-time and ensure their is no threat of injury, his options at out-half are plentiful and should allow that to happen.

9. Luke McGrath - 9


His support running is a joy to behold. Dictated tempo expertly and seems to communicate very well with his pack.


1. Jack McGrath - 7

Of all the areas Glasgow was destroyed today, nowhere was it more evident than in the scrum. Of the front five, only Scott Fardy made more tackles. One penalty due to a binding issue but overall a very composed performance.

2. Seán Cronin - 8

Great leg-drive for his try and contributed to a terrific line-out. For all the praise Stuart Lancaster has deservedly received,  Leo Cullen's work with the Leinster maul has created a monstrous option that allowed Leinster dominate Dave Rennie's pack.

3. Tadhg Furlong - 8

There is a huge amount you could praise Furlong for; his scrummaging, his work-rate or even his strike carries. However, the best Furlong moment came at the start of the second-half when Sexton launched a restart long and high, with Fergus McFadden the only Leinster player able to get near and compete. The ball broke sideways and the first man to it was the Wexford man. He can do just about everything.


4. Devin Toner - 6

A little underwhelming today, lineout aside. Two metres made, passed the ball once and made three tackles. However over the course of this European campaign has worked well with his Fardy and played a key role in their development of a potent line-out.

5. Scott Fardy - 10

After 25 minutes, Glasgow kicked a penalty into the corner and had a line-out in a dangerous position. Fardy could be heard loudly shouting at Glasgow to 'come on' and throw in the ball. He competed at the line-out, disrupted Glasgow ball and secured the next ruck. It epitomised much of what the lock is about. He allows Leinster vary their line-out in a way they couldn't before. A flawless performance that was capped with two tries.

6. Jordi Murphy - 7

Must have set a record in the opening exchanges as within 60 seconds scored a try and received a yellow card. Lagged far behind his back row partners in terms of tackles made with just four. Murphy will be a huge asset to Ulster next year but in order to get himself back in the frame for the Irish team will need to bring his overall game to another level.


7. Josh van der Flier - 8

The most traditional open-side currently playing in Irish rugby. Once again, Leinster's leading tackler and a constant frustration at the breakdown without ever being penalised for it. Van Der Flier bares all the hallmarks of a typical Joe Schmidt player and will be very much in contention come the Six Nations.

8. Jack Conan -  7

An impressive 32 metres made and 3 defenders beaten. Worked well with Van Der Flier to isolate Glasgow runners and slow ball at ruck time.

Replacements - 9

Leinster's bench is perhaps their greatest weapon. Even if a team compete with them in the opening quarter, they are free to introduce an international-standard bench and try something different. Ross Byrne came on and kicked well, Cian Healy delivered a delightful offload and Andrew Porter was a nuisance at the breakdown.


You can't take this performance in isolation despite the poor opposition. Leinster are firing on all cylinders, their depth is frankly absurd and their in-game management is outstanding. It will take one hell of a performance to beat this Leinster side on current form.

SEE ALSO: Jamie Roberts And James Haskell Give Classy Response To Horror-Tackle

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