There will be plenty of sore bodies this morning after Leinster and Ulster produced one of the most physical games of the season in their Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final at the Aviva Stadium.
Leinster ultimately edged a titanic battle 21-18 in an encounter which will be remembered for Ulster putting the reigning European champions to the pin of their collar throughout the 80 minutes.
The win means that Leinster will now face the winners of today’s French derby between Racing 92 and Toulouse. If the Parisian side win, Leinster will travel to Paris to take on Racing 92 but if Toulouse manage to get the better of their rivals, the eastern province will welcome the side they faced in the pool stages to Dublin.
There was no shortage of outstanding performers on both teams from Saturday evening’s clash but one player who really stood out, in addition to man-of-the-match Jack Conan, was James Ryan.
The 22-year-old was one of the few Irish players to come out of the Six Nations with credit in the bank and he has carried that form into his provincial colours.
Ryan, according to the official stats provided by EPCR, was one of the hardest working men on the field.
He topped the carrying charts with a whopping 23 to his name. The next closest was Jordi Murphy who carried 17 times against his former side.
On the other side of the ball, Ryan was equally as busy. He made 21 tackles, the most out of any Leinster player and more impressively, he came out with a 100% tackle completion record, not missing one.
If Leinster are to retain their European crown, Ryan will likely have a big part to play.