Treviso vs Leinster – Champions Cup preview

kearney (1)

Here we are at the end of the pool stages of the Champions Cup. So far so good for Leinster after winning all previous 5 games and sitting top of the heap in the championship. Tomorrow’s game looks straightforward to some but it’s actually a lot trickier than you might expect. Round 6 brings us a familiar opponent who have had some positive results against us over the past couple of seasons. Treviso are becoming a bit of a banana skin for the boys in blue, and if Leinster are to stay top of the overall rankings, they’ll need to ensure there’s no slip up against the Italians on their own patch.

Leisnter has played Treviso twice over the last few months (Pool 1 Champions Cup & Round 1 in Pro14) and we came out on top on both occasions. However, last season Treviso beat us away and it ended up a draw at the RDS. So overall, the head to head form has been quite similar in recent times. The Italian side are well drilled and have a never give up attitude. They are the type of team that if they get their noses in front on the scoreboard, their performance intensifies which makes it very hard to claw your way back against them. So it’s very important that you bring your A game each and every time. Leinster have a lot on the line tomorrow. Firstly, they have already secured top spot in Pool 1, but another win this weekend will not only secure a home quarter final, but will also get them a home semi final if they progress, which as you can imagine is a massive advantage. Win tomorrow, and Leinster finish the pool stages as top seed. If we lose tomorrow then we need to wait to see how our closest rivals go in their fixtures.

Treviso have nothing to play for, they currently have just 1 win from 5 games in the championship. However, I would assume they will be up for this game and with the 6 Nations coming up next month, there will be a lot of Italian players on the team looking to put their hand up for international selection. So too will the Leinster squad so it should be a great game.

Here is Cullen’s selection for tomorrow; kick off 1pm:

15. Jordan Larmour (45)
14. Dave Kearney (145)
13. Garry Ringrose (71)
12. Robbie Henshaw (43)
11. James Lowe (40)
10. Ross Byrne (83)
9. Luke McGrath (120) CAPTAIN
1. Cian Healy (215)
2. Seán Cronin (177)
3. Andrew Porter (61)
4. Devin Toner (243) 
5. James Ryan (36)
6. Max Deegan (59)
7. Josh van der Flier (79)
8. Caelan Doris (28)

16. James Tracy (105)
17. Peter Dooley (72)
18. Tadhg Furlong (107)
19. Ross Molony (92)
20. Rhys Ruddock (168)
21. Jamison Gibson-Park (84)
22. Ciarán Frawley (21)
23. Rob Kearney (216)

That is some team, the squad depth is just getting deeper and deeper. It’s great to see so many “newcomers” to the team getting a chance and from a supporter perspective there’s no concerns over lack of experience. The likes of Frawley and Doris are relatively new and are players you seriously want in your match day squad. Likewise too with Ross Byrne, he’s come along so incredibly well, I no longer feel that Leinster are weaker when Sexton isn’t there, no offence to Sexton of course, it’s just the performances that Byrne has put in over the last year has him not only starting for Leinster, but he’s surely going to be the starting out half for Ireland next month!
There is enough fire power in the starting 15 to take good control of this game. As long as everyone is up for this and the cohesion is strong, I can’t see any other side competing. I know that sounds slightly arrogant but it’s time to take it as we see it. this Leinster squad is of an international standard, their destiny is truly in their own hands again.

Where the game will be won
Leinster need to be fully switched on, there’ll be no room for complacency. As mentioned earlier, if we start slow and allow Treviso to take the lead, it’ll be a very touch 80 minutes. Leinster will need to dominate the forward exchanges, potentially deploying a rush defense that will keep Treviso in their half and allow us to steal ball. From there, we have the backs to cause massive damage and ultimately get over the white wash. If there’s any hesitancy in attack, Treviso have the quality to snuff out any scoring chances, and in doing so create their own.

I think the first 20 minutes will be telling. How Leinster react to a strong confident Treviso pack at the start of this game will set up the theme for how the game will unfold. Start slow and let Treviso in and it’ll be a long tough game which may go down to the wire. Start strong and take the game to Treviso and Leinster will be more than capable of creating some daylight on the scoreboard come half time. Cheeky prediction, Leinster to get the bonus point with Lowe crossing the try line first.

Treviso 15 – Leinster 36

Match day result: Treviso 0 – Leinster 18

One thought on “Treviso vs Leinster – Champions Cup preview

  1. Great write-up and very fair, perhaps this will be a very tricky game for the blues especially as Treviso have nothing to loose, and everyone wants to beat the best club team in Europe, perhaps the world, right? There is one massive problem though, it’s Leinster. This team has rock solid efficacy in what they’re doing and they’ll will have no sympathy for Treviso, I’m going with a much bigger win and if Treviso get over double digits that’ll be a victory of sorts for them. There’s absolutely no way Leinster are going to throw away their massive performances for this defining game tomorrow, it’ll be clinical and brutal, might be best to just get the results through Twitter. As for Munster, sure they’ll be better when Cadbury’s back in action. My prediction is Treviso 7 Leinster 40

    Liked by 1 person

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