This year we will watch Ireland and France in the European Rugby Champions Cup finals. After defeating Scarlets 38-16, Leinster secured their spot in the final stage of the prestigious competition. In their semi-final game, Leo Cullen’s squad was nothing less than extraordinary. On April 21st, Leinster crowned their excellent performance with a victory over Scarlets and a ticket to the Champions Cup final.
On the other hand, Scarlets, according to their head coach Pivac, can learn a lot from this defeat and further improve their game. Pivac believes his team already improved a lot, and the fact that they are among Europe’s top four clubs proves that.
Leinster seems to be unstoppable, and the Cullen’s men proved that in the clash with Scarlets. Leinster had a victory in their hands after the first half, thanks to the tries from Cian Healy, James Ryan, and Fergus McFadden. Additionally, Johnny Sexton’s nine points secured a dominant 24-9 lead for Leinster before the halftime whistle.
During the second half, not much changed. Leinster increased their game score by 12. Scarlets managed to make things a bit better with Tadhg Beirne’s try in the penultimate minute of the game. The final score was 38-16. Scarlets simply couldn’t match the level of speed, accuracy, and power Leinster men demonstrated in the clash.
Johnny Sexton’s performance was impeccable, and the 32-year-old scored 18 points for Leinster. He is also one of the five nominees for the EPCR European Player of the Year, along with his teammates Tadhg Furlong and Scott Fardy. Leinster’s Champion Cup finals opponents, Racing 92, have the remaining two players on this list, Leone Nakarawa and Maxime Machenaud.
It’s been six years since Leinster won the Cup. Perhaps now is the time for the betting sites’ favourites to get the fourth title. Racing 92 doesn't have a Champions Cup title yet, but their excellent play got them into the finals. We’ll see who will win the 2018 Champions Cup on May 12th.