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Toulouse Flanker Sums Up What Makes Leinster So Imperious

Toulouse Flanker Sums Up What Makes Leinster So Imperious
By Eoin Harrington Updated
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Though it may be five years since their last Champions Cup crown, there are very few teams in Europe feared in quite the same way as Leinster are these days.

Leo Cullen and Stuart Lancaster have developed a remarkable squad, whose brand of rugby has bulldozed through every opposing team they have come across in this season's Champions Cup.

They clinched their place in a final on home soil with victory over Toulouse on Saturday afternoon - and it wasn't just any victory, but a 19-point win against one of the most fancied sides in Europe.

It was the biggest statement yet of Leinster's intent in the Champions Cup, and Toulouse simply had no answer for the home side in Dublin.

Speaking to ITV after the game, Toulouse flanker Jack Willis summed up what made Leinster such a difficult opponent to face, and said he would be rooting for them in the final on May 20.

Toulouse flanker Jack Willis sums up what made Leinster side so dominant


2023 has brought two days out in Dublin that Jack Willis will want to forget. After being a part of the England side that was ultimately beaten in routine fashion on the final day of the Six Nations in the Aviva Stadium, he would go on to suffer an even more comprehensive defeat at the hands of Leinster on Saturday afternoon with Toulouse.

29 April 2023; Jack Willis of Toulouse is tackled by Caelan Doris of Leinster during the Heineken Champions Cup Semi Final match between Leinster and Toulouse at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Willis spoke to ITV at full-time, and praised Leinster. Though he played down the reporter's suggestion that Leinster were "untouchable," he nonetheless said the amount of test-level players in their squad made them a daunting opponent, before pointing out the two big components of their game which defined Saturday's game.

I think we really let ourselves down in those two ten-minute windows with the yellow cards, especially in that first window. A quality side like Leinster are going to capitalise on all those opportunities.

I think the pressure started to mount on us and we weren't patient enough. We were looking for easy, quick outs. I think we just needed to be a little bit more paitent and trust our defence, get a little bit more organised.

I think Leinster are a very well drilled side. I think, "untouchable", I wouldn't go as far as to say that, I think there's stuff that we'd like to go after - if we'd done a bit better, we think we could have got a better result today.

They're an incredible side - both Ireland and Leinster - they're very well drilled, a very fit side. They like a lot of ball in play and the amount of quality players you've got in this side - like you say, it's virtually an international side. Today was like a test match. Credit to them and I really do wish them all the best in the final.

Leinster were ruthless during the two sin-bin periods for Toulouse, profiting a whopping four tries during the 20 minutes, in a continuation of an outrageous statistic that has followed them throughout this season's competition.

Willis' point on Leinster's desire to keep the ball in play was also evident - and Cullen's side were ruthless in possession, scoring five tries against a surprisingly hapless Toulouse.

Even if the England flanker claims Leinster are not "untouchable," it's hard to see anyone coming close to the levels they have reached so far this season. They may yet have to face the demons of last season's final opponents La Rochelle on May 20 but, for now, Leinster fans have every right to dream of a fifth star being added to the crest this summer.


SEE ALSO: Gordon D'Arcy Says Leinster Shouldn't Apologise For Having Home Champions Cup Final

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