Castres v Leinster

Leo Cullen's side have qualified for the quarter-finals but now they look to secure home advantage

Johnny Watterson Fri, Jan 20
 
LIVE: Castres v Leinster

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  • Good evening. We will soon be up and running for Leinster's match against Castres. A win will ensure a Dublin quarterfinal, which is hugely important for Leo Cullen and his side. Match kick off is 7.45pm so we will shortly upload teams and any news coming from France.
  • CASTRES: P Berard; J Caminati, A Taumoepeau, F Vialelle, D Smith; J Dumora, A Dupont; A Tichit, B Mach, D Kotze, V Moreaux, R Capo Ortega (c), Y Caballero, A Bias, S Mafi. Replacements: J Jenneker, M Lazar, D Tussac, L Jacquet, A Jelonch, J Seron, B Urdapilleta, T Combezou.
  • LEINSTER: I Nacewa (c); A Byrne, G Ringrose, R Henshaw, R O’Loughlin; J Sexton, L McGrath; C Healy, R Strauss, T Furlong, R Molony, D Toner, J Conan, J van der Flier, J Heaslip. Replacements: J Tracy, J McGrath, M Bent, M McCarthy, D Leavy, J Gibson-Park, R Byrne, R Kearney.
  • Referee: Greg Garner (England).

    Head-to-head: Played 7, Castres 1 win, Leinster 6 wins.

    Leading try scorers: Castres – Alexandre Bias 3. Leinster – Isa Nacewa 6, Adam Byrne Jack Conan, Sean Cronin 3 each.

    Leading points scorers: Castres – Benjamin Urdapilleta 36. Leinster – Isa Nacewa 75.

    Betting (Paddy Power): 4/1 Castres, 30/1 Draw, 1/6 Leinster. Handicap odds (Castres +12pts) 10/11 Castres, 22/1 Draw, 10/11 Leinster.
  • RTE's radio commentator Michael Corcoran says Leinster are 'almost garunteed' four tries and a bonus point. He believes that Castres Top 14 match next weekend will take precedence. That's sticking one's neck out alright but he's probably right.
  • "we need to focus oin trying to produce a good performance again. We know its a totlally different challenge playing a French team away from home," says Leo Cullen at pitch side.
  • Big Pack. Good scrum and well coached but Castres like to play 'unstructured rugby' according to the former Irish and London Irish secondrow Bob Casey. That suggests a running, lively match.
  • It was as cold as -8 last night in Castres but temperatures tonight are around or above freezing, so no real problems there.
  • Nacewa leads Leinster out onto the pitch. Looking for a win to ensure a home quarter but also to harden up the Leinster fear factor aswell.
  • They are off. Sexton puts it into Castres 22 but cleared by Dupont.
  • Castres are playing in Blue tonight. Muildly confusing. But Leinster's yellow and black aint hard to see.
  • That's a late hit from Nacewa on the Castres right wing. Trouble here for the Leinster fullback.
  • Nacewa is okay. There was some arm but it wasn't late. A tight call but he stays on the pitch.
  • Leinster have 100 per cent scrum success this year in Europe and their line out 96 per cent success.
  • Leinster pushing into Castres 22. Good patience. Byrne steps. Ringwood weaves forward. Lots of phases and it earns them a penalty
  • 8 mins
    Sexton gives Leinster an early lead.
    Castres 0 Leinster 3
  • 11 mins
    Henshaw gathers on the left and takes off just as Castres were pushing up. .Ringrose picks and passes and Henshaw kicks up the right. It bounces nicely for him and he cuts in right on a solo diagonal run with shouts from the bench of back yourself Robbie back yourself. He does. Great counter from Leinster.
    Sexton converts
    Castres 0 Leinster 10
  • Byrne, O'Loughlin, Ringrose...that's a tasty bit of young talent in the Leinster backline.
  • It has become an open game. Castres running and chucking it around. Leinster though are up to it defensively and so far there is no real try threat.
  • 19 mins
    Lovely Sexton chip over the Castres line. Van der Flier just misses the pick up...
  • Oops Sexton sold a dummy in midfield and Castres are knocking at the Leinster line. The ball is slipped to scrumhalf Dupont. A huge step off his right foot inside Devin Toner and he's home and dry. Try for Castres and they are back in it.
    The try is Converted by Dumora

    Castres 7 Leinster 10
  • 23 mins
    O'Loughlin chases a long ball and wins the foot race he gets to it first and gets the ball. But is he in touch and does he apply downward pressure.
    The referee is taking his time....NO TRY
  • Sexton is in trouble....injury wise.
  • 23 mins
    Yes Ross Byrne has come on for Sexton who has a leg injury.
  • We are not sure exactly what Sexton's injury is. Please let it not be his hamstring.
  • 25 mins
    The word coming back is that Sexton has a tight calf...
  • 26 mins

    Castres 7 Leinster 10
  • 26 mins
    Cian Healy is down now. But he looks okay just getting breath and a slug of water. He's up and running.
  • 31 mins
    David Smith makes a lightening break and a step for Castres. Dupont takes it on and another outrageous step as Leinster scramble. Wonderful balance from both players as Castres punch into Leinster's 22. Referee blows his whistle and its a penalty for Castres.
    Its good and the sides are level.

    Castres 10 Leinster 10
  • 36 mins
    Wow Castres making ground here...David Smith is in. It's Vialelle who breaks from centre with Ringrose going a little high. Smith is on the outside and the ball is flipped to him and he's in for a try. Leinster are in trouble here as Castres body language changes.
    Converted

    Castres 17 Leinster 10
  • 39 mins
    Big scrum for Leinster 10 yards out. It goes up and they'll take it again. The ball comes out but Luke McGrath gets wrapped up in possession. Disappointing for Leinster.
  • HALFTIME

    CASTRES 17 LEINSTER 10
    Castres have scored 17 unanswered points, while Leinster have lost Sexton and also Nacewa. Kearney has come on at fullback. Time to go in and reboot for what promises to be a tough second half. Castres are in the mood for this one.
  • Leinster might be hampered now in that they have a talented but inexperienced back line. They are also making to many errors in defence. Too high and not making the tackles count against a tricky Castres side.
    Just heard Leinster have 17 missed tackles. Awful.
    Leinster need 3 match points to have a home quarterfinal, which is effectively a win.
  • So will Leinster settle themselves. Castres are living off Leinster errors. If Leinster can tidy up in this department they will have a good chance of winning. But as Leo Cullen said the French side love to play an unstructured game and get guys like Smith and Dupont running with the ball.
    There's a big job now for players like Heaslip, Healy, Toner and Rob Kearney to show some leadership and ensure Leinster tighten up everywhere.
  • "We didn't make our tackles. We didn't stick our tackles. They came right through us," Leinster scrum coach John Fogarty at halftime.
  • "It's a huge 40 minutes for us now. Everybody understands that," Fogarty again at halftime.
  • SECOND HALF BEGINS
  • 43 mins
    Beauty of a break from Ringrose. But the pass over his right shoulder doesn't stick to Luke McGrath. Still Ringrose burned them...But Leinster are pushing and McGrath takes the ball from the scrum. He delivers to Adam Byrne at pace.
    Byrne powers forward between the centres and offloads to Henshaw galloping forward.
    Leinster try
    Ross Byrne converts.
    What a promising start from Leinster.
    Castres 17 Leinster 17
  • 53 mins
    Castres on the push again. Leinster putting in lots of tackles in their 22. This is where they have to stay tight. Some last ditch tackling here from Leinster.
    Castres making ground and 5 yards out. Great defence from Leinster but its not over yet.
    Smith picks and dives from a yard. He thinks he is over the line at the post. He looks like he is over the line. Yes, it is good.
    Leinster had to many numbers and no pillar at the ruck.
    Its a try and it's converted
    Castres 24 Leinster 17
  • Ringrose, who has been good puts the ball out in the full. Castres lineout in Leinster 22.
  • 56 mins
    Castres pouring forward again. Another Leinster missed tackle.
  • 60 mins
    Now Leinster counter and are in the French 22. They need some patience and accuracy. They get a penalty. It looks like a hand on the ground.
    Byrne kicks to touch for a close in lineout.
  • 60 mins
    Leinster gather and push forward. It's another penalty for Leinster for pulling down. Leinster kick to touch again. But they botch the lineout and the ball is kicked away.
  • 6365 mins
    Superb offlaod from Conan after a break from Adam Byrne and Leinster pour towards the Castres line. The referee blows and there could be a card her for Castres for holding. Yes the fullback is sin binned.
    5 yard scrum to Leinster.
    Bodies pour forward and replacement flanker Dan Leavy picks and sees a space. He is over from 5 yards out and nobody touched him.
    Leinster try. Byrne converts. ALL SQUARE.
    Castres 24 Leinster 24
  • 70 mins
    Adam Byrne kicks forward and Ringrose get to it picks up but it's ripped from him and Leinster knock on. Wonderful chance missed more it looks from tirdness as much as anything.
  • 72 mins
    Ringrose again going forward but the ball is killed on the ground and Castres kick away. Leinster are making chances but they are lacking execution. Another good chances slips by
  • Have we mentioned that 75 per cent of home quarterfinals are won by the home side.
  • 76 mins
    Castres are rolling a maul into the Leinster 22. Now the ball is wide. Danger again here for Leinster, who cannot afford to miss a tackle. But a penalty is given to Castre for a high tackle in the previous play. They kick to the corner
  • 77 mins
    Bodies pile in and Castres are inches from the Leinster line. the referee blows for a penalty and has a word with Heaslip. It is backs against the wall here for Leinster..
  • 77 mins

    YELLOW Mike McCarthy just on and now off.
  • 79 mins
    Wow Leinster have held up the driving maul a man down and get a penalty. That's a huge effort and a big mini result for them.

    Castres 24 Leinster 24
  • Seconds remaining and defensive Leinster scrum 5 yards out. Penalty for Leinster and Kearney asks how much time is left.
  • 80 mins


    Wow Gibson Park kicks the ball out and ends the match with Leinster in possession and in a position to maybe work it up the park. But they accept the draw.
    Leinster have 23 points. Connacht, if they win in Toulouse by around 50 points, can bump Leinster out of a home quarterfinal. Otherwise Leinster have their home draw.
  • FINAL RESULT
    CASTRES 24 LEINSTER 24
    Leinster may draw on the last 10 minutes when they stood tough, especially in the closing minutes. It wasn't perfect or pretty but it won't take much to convince this young side they did well despite the errors that riddled the game.
    No Sean O'Brien. No Sexton or Nacewa for most of the match either.
  • Leinster, Clermont, Saracens and Munster all look in good shape for home quarterfinals.
  • Here's the final Pool 4 Table
  • "To come away with a draw I think they will be happy in the end," former Leinster man Bob Casey.
  • "Connacht are going to Toulouse short of a few (players)," says Casey not convinced the Irish province can take the French giants and bump Leinster out of their home quarterfinal.
  • "If you asked us before the comp kicked off ...23 points...we would have liked that. We were sloppy at times and gave a lot of entry points to them. But the lads showed a lot of ticker to get back into that game, a lot of ticker, a lot of heart on those last 10 minutedss," said Jamie Heaslip.


    "I don;t think Connacht will do us any favours. They have gone to Toulouse and won before. They can do it again."

  • "We pride ourselves in adapting. You see Isa going off and Rob Kearney coming on it's pretty good in my book. We are content, not happy," added Heaslip.


    That's it then folks until Sunday and Connacht. Gerry Thornley's match report will be with you in 10 minutes.


     


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