Leicester 10 Leinster 27: Champions Cup as it happened

Caelan Doris scores key bonus-point try in added time as Leinster get the job done


15:17

Leicester 10 Leinster 27


17:20

Job done for Leinster. No rest for the wicked, join us now to see how Munster get on.


17:10

80 mins: James Lowe deservedly wins man of the match. Leicester have failed to score for 60 minutes in this game at home, they will very disappointed with that. Leinster win a penalty and Prendergast kicks into touch for one last attempt at a fourth try.

Kelleher overthrows the lineout and one last chance for Leicester. They knock it on and then Leinster knock it on and it’s back with Leicester. Lowe intercepts and they go again. Still a point in it for both teams to fight for. Conan brings it to 5 metres, and then Ala’alatoa... a few metres from the line. Doris gets it. TRY FOR LEINSTER! Almost five minutes into added time.

Full-time: Leicester 10 Leinster 27


17:08

77 mins: Low with some massive kicks, showing his range. One of them creates a chance, McGrath through with a nice offload to Ryan but Leicester turn it over. Leicester run the ball with a few minutes left and win a penalty, looking for one more try.


17:01

74 mins: Leinster still attacking with a man down, Moloney to Prendergast with a flat pass to Kelleher who drops the ball.


16:54

68 mins: Leinster turn it over! Doris with the big effort. Scott gets overwhelmed by the Leinster defence and Leinster survive.


16:49

64 mins: Oh dear. A hobbling Harry Byrne is taken off for Sam Prendergast... not what Andy Farrell would like to see.

Leinster have given away a number of penalties and James Ryan is warned for his team. Leicester go for the scrum. Good scrum and Hatherell nearly gets over the line but just short. Hassell-Collins is in an acre of space but Leicester can’t find him. Jack Conan gets a yellow card though and back for yet another penalty for Leicester.


16:47

61 mins: Joe McCarthy is through for the fourth try but the referee had already blown his whistle to penalise for a high tackle. Leicester progress and win another penalty which Pollard kicks to the corner. It has been a long time since they got on the scoreboard. But James Ryan steals the lineout and Byrne clears.


16:38

56 mins: An attacking scrum for Leinster as Whiteley comes back in. Leinster’s backs move quickly, Byrne plays a smart pass to the wing but Baird unfortunately drops the ball. Rónan Kelleher, Michael Ala’alatoa and Jack Conan come off the bench.


16:30

50 mins: Good turnover by Leicester prevents a chance of a fourth try for Leinster as Gibson-Park gets patched up from a blood injury.


16:22

44 mins: Dan McKellar on TNT Sports refers to playing ‘Ireland dressed in blue’ about Leinster and the Irish internationals combine along the line at speed with Lowe, Ringrose and Henshaw. It causes a yellow card for Whiteley for a deliberate knock-on. The lineout is taken by Baird and it’s TRY FOR LEINSTER! Dan Sheehan explodes to the line as he finds a gap. Harry Byrne converts.


16:02

40 mins: Almost another try to Leinster as they power through, Baird held up though as Leinster exert their dominance. But a ball goes loose around midfield and Leicester kick it along the ground towards the goal. Larmour covers and Byrne kicks it out for half-time.

Half-time: Leicester 10 Leinster 15

Leinster came back from 10 points down and look the better team after a slow start. An absorbing contest, Leicester have given Leinster plenty to think about.

The pick of the tries for Leinster:


15:58

35 mins: TRY FOR LEINSTER! They just turn it up a notch and accelerate through the pitch through Lowe who beats his man and offloads to Ringrose, to Gibson-Park. It seemed Leicester had got a turnover but a long pass to Ringrose bounces once, he controls and finishes well from the wing! Byrne pulls the conversion wide.


15:52

30 mins: TRY FOR LEINSTER! Byrne kicks to touch. Joe McCarthy from the lineout nearly over the line... finds a gap and scores! Byrne converts and it’s level again, 10-10.


15:49

27 mins: Lowe chases down Steward’s kick and wins a lineout deep in Leicester territory. Leinster stretch the game with passes across the pitch, Cronin tried to steal the ball but he’s penalised. Leinster kick to touch. Solid lineout as Gibson-Park fizzes the passes and gets the forwards carrying. Hard tackle by Chessum on Byrne leaving him on the ground. But he’s back up on his feet. Another Leinster penalty.


15:43

23 mins: Leinster get a penalty themselves for the Leicester player Raffell being off their feet, a tad lucky for Leinster perhaps. They decide to go for the posts and Byrne scores Leinster’s first points of the day.


15:39

20 mins: The lineout goes over everyone but Leicester keep the ball. Liebenberg knocks it on though, Van der Flier with a strong tackle, better defending from Leinster. Leinster choose to run after scrum, Lowe clears and Leinster compete to turn it over but Sheehan concedes a penalty. Pollard, one of the greatest kickers in the world, takes the points and it’s a 10-0 lead.


15:35

17 mins: Super run by Whiteley as he fizzes through the Leinster defence, carrying past three or four players and gets within 10 metres. It’s a penalty for Leicester. Pollard kicks for touch. It’s been a good start by Whiteley and Leicester.


15:32

15 mins: Leinster with a try opportunity after a break but it’s held up, perfect timing of the pass by Byrne to Henshaw who breaks through but Lowe’s run is halted and then held up on the line. Leinster’s backs starting to warm up, but Ringrose gives away a penalty for being off his feet.


15:28

12 mins: Try for Leicester! Liebenberg gets it over. Solid set-piece and a gap opens for Dan Kelly from the ruck and he runs at the defence with numbers over. Not the best defence by Leinster there and they’re punished. Pollard converts, early lead for the home side.


15:25

9 mins: A lot of kicking back and forth, which suits Leicester. No real opportunities for a try yet. A high kick by Whiteley is fumbled back by Larmour and Leicester put pressure on Leinster 10 metres out. Gibson-Park kicks to touch.


15:22

7 mins: Not too much happening in the early stages. Early running by Leicester but they kick the ball away sloppily. A spell of Leinster possession doesn’t make much ground. Intense and heavy tackling by both teams.


15:15

The teams again as it’s about to kick off.

LEICESTER: Freddie Steward; Harry Simmons, Matt Scott, Dan Kelly, Ollie Hassell-Collins; Handre Pollard, Tom Whiteley; James Cronin, Julian Montoya (capt), Joe Heyes; Harry Wells, Ollie Chessum; Hanro Liebenberg, Tommy Reffell, Jasper Wiese. Replacements: Archie Vanes, Francois van Wyk, Will Hurd, Sam Carter, Kyle Hatherell, Ben Youngs, Jamie Shillcock, Solomone Kata.

LEINSTER: Hugo Keenan; Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose (co-capt), Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Harry Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park; Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong; Joe McCarthy (27), James Ryan (co-capt); Ryan Baird, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris. Replacements: Rónan Kelleher, Cian Healy, Michael Ala’alatoa, Ross Molony, Jack Conan, Luke McGrath, Sam Prendergast, Tommy O’Brien.

Referee: Andrea Piardi (Ita).


14:55

14:40

It’s not looking good to Ulster in their Champions Cup match today. They’re down 33-7 to Harlequins. Ulster needed to win that match, they’re heading out of the competition. Meanwhile, the Bulls lead Bordeaux Begles by 43-35. Here are the permutations for the Champions Cup groups.


14:10

Harry Byrne gets a chance to impress here ahead of the Six Nations and the rest of the season for Leinster. Writing earlier in the week, Gordon D’Arcy said: “Players need to play, outhalves even more so, given their pivotal role and how they influence the team. The constant rotation at Leinster, primarily due to injury, where Ross and Harry Byrne, Ciarán Frawley and Sam Prendergast have worn the 10 jersey, has affected Leinster’s attack.

The main creative source for Leinster has been Gibson-Park, who has yet to develop a strong relationship with any of the 10s. The question going to Welford Road is: if the hosts decide to focus on and shut down Gibson-Park, will the Leinster 10 be able to pick up the slack from a creativity perspective?”


13:45

Leo Cullen expects a “confrontational” Leicester challenge today. Leinster’s head coach, once a Leicester Tiger as a player, recalled: “I have so much respect for them personally having been a part of that once up a time, a very long time again now. But still it’s such a very fond period of my own life, the couple of years that I spent over there. So [it’ll be] a great atmosphere there. It’s a different type of rugby and they’ll be very, very confrontational in what they do.

“You guys see some of those stats’ handouts that EPCR send out, so it’s either the team that kicks the most or passes the least [whichever way you want to look at it], that’s the game that we will be getting ready for, it’s confrontational rugby and that’s the DNA [of the way they play].”


13:25

Hello and welcome to live coverage of the Champions Cup Pool 4 game between Leicester and Leinster, live from Welford Road. Kick off for the game is 3.15pm. Leinster have won all three Champions Cup games so far and will look to secure top position in their Pool away to Leicester, which can be a tricky away fixture. Harry Byrne is back at outhalf to help solve the injury crisis in that position as Leo Cullen’s men are prepared for a bruising encounter in the midlands. Watch out for one of the great kickers, double South African Rugby World Cup-winner Handré Pollard, at 10 for Leicester.

LEICESTER: Freddie Steward; Harry Simmons, Matt Scott, Dan Kelly, Ollie Hassell-Collins; Handre Pollard, Tom Whiteley; James Cronin, Julian Montoya (capt), Joe Heyes; Harry Wells, Ollie Chessum; Hanro Liebenberg, Tommy Reffell, Jasper Wiese. Replacements: Archie Vanes, Francois van Wyk, Will Hurd, Sam Carter, Kyle Hatherell, Ben Youngs, Jamie Shillcock, Solomone Kata.

LEINSTER: Hugo Keenan; Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose (co-capt), Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Harry Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park; Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong; Joe McCarthy (27), James Ryan (co-capt); Ryan Baird, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris. Replacements: Rónan Kelleher, Cian Healy, Michael Ala’alatoa, Ross Molony, Jack Conan, Luke McGrath, Sam Prendergast, Tommy O’Brien.

Referee: Andrea Piardi (Ita).