Leinster v Northampton

Can Leinster cruise past Northampton Saints again? This time at the Aviva stadium

Eamon Donoghue Sat, Dec 17
 
LIVE: Leinster v Northampton

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  • Hello and Welcome... After that incredible last minute win for Connacht, attentions turn to the last game of the day as Leinster host Northampton at the Aviva.

    A Dublin quarter-final is the aim for Leo Cullen's team. Further motivation to bank the bonus point here. If last weekend is anything to go by, it's on the cards.  

    Kick-off is at 7.45pm. Be sure to get in touch throughout - via either Twitter (@DonoghueEamon) or the comments section ('Contact Us' tab).

    Leinster v Northampton Saints, European Champions Cup, Aviva Stadium, Saturday December 17th (kick off: 7.45pm)

  • Gavin Cummiskey's forecast

    Leinster:  Zane Kirchner;  Adam Byrne, Garry Ringrose,  Robbie Henshaw,  Isa Nacewa  (capt); Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath; Jack McGrath,  Sean Cronin,Tadhg Furlong; Devin Toner, Hayden Triggs; Sean O’Brien, Josh van der Flier, Jamie Heaslip. Replacements:  James Tracy,  Cian Healy,  Michael Bent, Rhys Ruddock, Jack Conan,  Jamison Gibson-Park, Noel Reid, Rory O’Loughlin.

    Northampton Saints:  Ahsee Tuala;  Ken Pisi,  George Pisi  (capt), JJ Hanrahan,  Tom Collins;  Stephen Myler,  Nic Groom;  Ethan Walker,  Charlie Clare,  Kieran Brookes; Api Ratuniyarawa,  James Craig;  Jamie Gibson, Calum Clark, Teimana Harrison. Replacements:  James Fish,  Alex Waller, Paul Hill,Michael Paterson, Ben Nutley,  Tom Kessell,  Rory Hutchinson,  James Wilson.

    Referee:  Romain Poite  (France)

    Betting:  Leinster 10/11 (-17 handicap).

    Forecast:  Leinster with bonus point.

  • Last Friday night the score was  Northampton 10  Leinster  37 at  Franklin’s Gardens.  

    Here's the match report from that encounter

  • Teams are out and we are ready to go
  • Leinster 0 Northampton 0 (1') Game on, Ross Byrne has got things underway at the Aviva
  • Leinster 0 Northampton 0 (2')  Both teams playing for territory early on, a great one-handed block down from 6ft 10' Devin Toner. Falls to Josh van der Flier but he doesn't connect with his kick ahead. And Northampton clear away
  • Leinster 0 Northampton 0 (3') Leinster form a lineout maul and move into the Northampton 22.  
  • Tadhg Furlong draws in the attentions of four tacklers, it's out quickly to Zane Kirchner who plays in Adam Byrne to creep over in the corner TRY
  • Leinster 5 Northampton 0 (4') Byrne's first try in the Champions Cup. Nacewa misses the conversion
  • Leinster 5 Northampton 0 (7') Tom Collins puts Leinster back in their own half. Toner claims the lineout but Leinster penalised for some crossing. Penalty Northampton and a chance to put points on the board
  • Leinster 5 Northampton 0 (9')  It wasn't easy but Stephen Myler would've expected to nail that penalty. Pulls it left of the posts
  • Leinster 5 Northampton 0 (12')  Ken Pisi makes a nice break into the Leinster 22. Comes out to Myler but his grubber kick is to nothing and Leinster pick it up and clear well under no pressure. Northampton come again and this time Sean O'Brien concedes a penalty for coming in over the top
  • Leinster 5 Northampton 3 (13') Myler makes no mistake second time of asking. The visitors respond well from the try
  • Big break by O'Brien and a deft one handed offload follows as he hits the ground. A swift Leinster move though ends as they hold on for too long, and concede another penalty
  • Leinster 5 Northampton 6 (16') Northampton are ahead. Myler converts his second. Luke McGrath catches the restart excellently as Leinster look to take control back in this game
  • Leinster going through the phases, Toner knocks on but Northampton go offside and concede a penalty. Ross Byrne opts for the sideline and not the posts. Intent
  • Pisi crosses over for a Northampton try. He intercepts a Luke McGrath pass while defending his own try line, and runs 80m with Sean O'Brien unable to get near him
  • TMO looking at the try to make sure Pisi was not offside
  • Leinster 5 Northampton 13 (21') Some confusion there. TMO happy to award the try, but the big screen at the Aviva says no try. So when the referee explains that a try has in fact been awarded - as you'd imagine the crowd, and players who had ran back down to the other end of the pitch, are not best pleased. Conversion slotted also
  • Leinster 8 Northampton 13 (24') Nacewa with a good penalty from the left. Leinster claim the restart and clear to half way
  • Leinster penalty on half way, and they go for a quick crossfield pass that very nearly finds Adam Byrne
  • Leinster 15 Northampton 13 (27') Leinster in the Northampton 22 again. Henshaw fumbles but it goes backwards. Luke McGrath then fumbles himself at the base of the ruck (again backwards), that creates a gap and he breaks through it and crosses over under the posts. TRY. Conversion slotted by Nacewa
  • Leinster 22 Northampton 13 (31') A second TRY for young Adam Byrne. Big hit by Gary Ringrose, ball falls to the Leinster winger and he has too much gas for the Northampton players in pursuit. Nacewa again with the conversion
  • Leinster form a ruck from the restart, at the base Luke McGrath's box kick is out on the full. The Leinster scrumhalf has had a very mixed afternoon. Northamton lineout maul in penalised. Holding on
  • Leinster 22 Northampton 13 (36') Van der Flier with a turnover, Byrne kicks for the corner and Northampton pushed back into their own half. Resultant lineout, McGrath blocks down (with his face) but he knocks on as he tries to reclaim the ball
  • Leinster 22 Northampton 13 (39') Van der Flier makes a break, Henshaw is hit hard but holds on to the ball. Leinster edging closer and closer to the try line. Crossfield kick is overhit, but it's back for a penalty. Northampton not rolling away
  • Ross Byrne kicks for touch with the penalty. Lineout maul formed. Big push, and TRY . Sean O'Brien. The powerful flanker breaks out of a maul and crosses over at full stretch. Nacewa converts for the two points
  • HT  Leinster 29 Northampton 13 - Bonus point secured at half-time. Northampton had a 10 minute purple patch but Leinster have been ruthless either side of that
  • Leinster 22 Northampton 13 - Second half underway, great take off the restart from Toner and Leinster look to begin the second half as they did the first. On the front foot
  • Adam Byrne, Van der Flier, Sean Cronin, O'Brien, Jack McGrath Henshaw, all making yards. Leinster into the Northampton 22 and still moving forward
  • Leinster 27 Northampton 13 (42') TRY number five. That attack was relentless. Furlong crosses over in the end. Great carry after great carry and the big man powers over at the end of it all for the try. Nacewa adds the conversion. Not looking good for Northampton
  • Explosive burst from Cronin, lovely footwork on display too and a great offload. Leinster maul is on the go again now and into the Northampton 22
  • McGrath switches it up, Ross Byrne skips Ringrose and pops it up for Cronin who takes it full tilt and crosses over for a sixth TRY. Ross BYrne converts. Taking over the kicking duties it would appear
  • Leinster 34 Northampton 13 (48') Leinster replace their entire front row. Northampton win the restart and win a penalty. Good response. They need to keep their heads here as Leinster look like scoring every time they get the ball in hand here
  • Some fine offloading by Northampton but Pisi's last pass is short after a perfectly-timed hit by Nacewa. Then back in the Northampton half Triggs and Van der Flier combine to execute a choke tackle and win a penalty. Leinster keeping their standards up here in defence and attack. Long half hour to go for the visitors
  • Leinster 34 Northampton 13 (53') It's about to get even longer. Yellow card for Jamie Gibson, he tries to sneak around and kick the ball away but he's not as well concealed as he thought.
  • Leinster 48 Northampton 13 (55') Over on the left wing Nacewa bumps off two tackles and in for a TRY. Far, far too easy. Very tricky conversion missed by Ross Byrne  
  • Leinster 55 Northampton 13 (60') On the hour mark and Leinster are back in the Northampton 22. They draw in numbers on the left, keep it tight. Then get it out right in two passes, the last from Kirchner to Rory O'Loughlin in lots of space. Another try for the youngster, he also crossed over last Friday night. Ross Byrne adds the two points
  • Jamie Gibson is back in the action
  • Leinster 55 Northampton 13 (68') Scrum-time on halfway. Referee is not happy with the front rows and a lot of time being spent here, finally Leinster get the ball out and quickly break into the Northamton 22 again
  • Pisi gathers the crossfield kick, then drops it. Nacewa pounces for as easy a try as he'll ever get. Going from bad to worse for the English Premiership club
  • Leinster 60 Northampton 13 (71) Another difficult conversion for Ross Byrne. Well struck, but tails off to the left of the posts
  • Leinster 60 Northampton 13 (75') Messy Northampton lineout, Leinster knock on as they attempt to gather. Northampton then break into the Leinster 22 off their scrum but knock on themselves. Bit of a half hearted attack that was

  • Looked like a Northampton try there, but TMO unable to spot the ball being grounded so it's back for a penalty. Another penalty from the resultant line-out for sacking, from which the visitors tap and go. Leinster hold JJ Hanrahan on the line but there's a knock on there when it comes back out. The try looked on. Sums it up for them  
  • FT Leinster 60 Northampton 13  Time up but Leinster initially attempt to run it from their own 22. Eventually though they opt to kick for touch and conclude this massively one sided encounter
  • Man of the match Sean Cronin: "We are very happy, to get all the points on offer and now we move on to the next block in January."

  • So that's that. Job done by Leinster. Northampton's biggest ever European defeat. They are in control of pool four.

    Be sure to keep an eye out for Gavin Cummiskey's match report arriving soon on the site, and of course, thanks very much for joining us!