Leinster and Ulster could well meet in this seasons European Cup final, but they have a tough road to get there. Leinster battled past a more than up for it Benetton while Ulster saw off Bath. You can read an indepth review on Leinster’s win on Irish Sport TV.
Leinster top the Quarter Final rankings, meaning they have home advantage on their way to Marseille. That journey could yet be derailed by Saracens, who are officially relegated from the Premiership due to salary cap breeches. Saracens, if they can keep hold of their star players until the end, will have only European glory to play for, and will be hungry for the game. Ulster face a difficult trip to another of the favorites Toulouse. If they get through that it’s either familiar foes Exeter, or outsiders Northampton. Ulster’s semifinal will likely be at the Aviva Stadium, which means we could potentially have a double header in Dublin in the semi-finals.
If I was putting money on it, I would back a Leinster – Toulouse final. It would be fitting for the 25th anniversary of the competition if the joint record winners of the trophy battled it out for that 5th star. But I’m not putting money on it, so I’ll go with my heart and say it’s an All-Ireland showdown in Marseille between Leinster and Ulster.
The attention turns now to the men and women’s Six Nations campaigns. Ireland have 3 home games, but face difficult trips to England and France.
This week on Provincial Jazz we spoke to former Ireland and Munster star Fiona Hayes about difficult quarter finals for Leinster & Ulster, commendable pool stages for Munster & Connacht, how the debacle at Saracens could play out, Six Nations prep, and a big game for UL Bohs. You can listen on Spotify below, or search Post To Post Sport wherever you get your podcasts.
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