Gerry Thornley: Leinster look closer to the mountain top
Weekend shows Munster need offensive weapons while Leinster attack poses real threat
Leinster’s Dan Leavy scores a try that was later disallowed in the weekend Champions Cup clash with Clermont Auvergne. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho
Two more semi-final defeats for Irish sides takes the tally to five in the last five years of the European Champions Cup since Leinster beat Ulster in the all-Irish final of 2012. Leinster and Munster have remained contenders, but the higher they climb it seems there’s something of a glass ceiling in their way.
Of course, the final step or two has always been the hardest. Munster have played 12 European Cup semi-finals, a record for the competition, but they have lost eight of them as well as two finals. Leinster’s nine appearances in the semi-finals have yielded three trophies.