Home Rugby Player Ratings As Leinster Set Up Saracens Euro Final Showdown

Player Ratings As Leinster Set Up Saracens Euro Final Showdown

Leinster are on course to defend their Heineken Champions Cup crown as they secured a final meeting with Saracens thanks to a 30-12 victory over Toulouse at the Aviva Stadium this afternoon. 

There were concerns that some of Leinster’s top players would be undercooked coming into this clash against an in-form Toulouse side but those worries were unfounded as the eastern province produced a ruthless display to guarantee they will line out at St James’ Park in three weeks time.

Here are our Leinster player ratings from today’s match.

Rob Kearney – 7 

Leinster’s kick-return was excellent throughout and Rob Kearney led the charge in this regard with some very good carries throughout the game as he ran back at the Toulouse defence.

Stuck all his tackles on the other side of the ball.

Jordan Larmour – 7

A very quiet first half where he was unable to get involved in the game. Just one carry in the opening 40 minutes but he was more prominent in the second half.

His interception close to his own line was absolutely crucial as Toulouse were looking for a way back into the game.

Garry Ringrose – 8

One of Leinster’s busiest backs in the first half as he was involved a lot in the passages of play which yielded tries.

His footwork, as always, was excellent and he almost got a try at the end of the second half but was hauled down just short of the line after bursting through a gap. Conceded a high tackle on Antoine Dupont but that was the only negative from a brilliant performance.

Robbie Henshaw – 9 

He’s back!

Robbie Henshaw has had a frustrating 2019 with a dead leg injury keeping him on the sidelines but he was superb today alongside his midfield partner Garry Ringrose.

Defensively, he led the charge to shut down the Toulouse attack time and time again but he also shone with ball in hand.

Some excellent passing, beautiful steps and kicking from hand were all showcased in his performance. He got Leinster on the front foot in the build-up to James Lowe’s try. Workrate was on show when he blocked down Thomas Ramos’ attempted clearance.

He’s denied the full 10 due to his yellow card and he can count himself lucky that the deliberate knock on didn’t result in a penalty try.

James Lowe – 8 

The Kiwi winger was excellent and he showed some superb strength to fend off multiple tackle attempts to score Leinster’s first try after 14 minutes.

He competed very well in the air which ensured Leinster retained possession time and time again. He has to start in Newcastle, he’s just too good to leave out.

Johnny Sexton – 9

Hasn’t played a game of rugby since Ireland’s disappointing defeat to Wales in Cardiff but any worries of rustiness were unfounded as he produced a controlled and cutting display whch won him man-of-the-match.

Sexton’s passing was on point throughout and he was, for the most part, brilliant from the tee. Got his backline moving which had the Toulouse defence backtracking.

Leinster Player Ratings

His kicking from hand was sublime as his aerial bombs or grubbers into space had Toulouse at sixes and sevens. A performance much more like you would expect from the World Player of the Year.

Luke McGrath – 7

Busy as ever and he had a good day at the office which was helped by his pack providing him with ball on a plate.

One or two wayward passes but for the most part he was accurate and his energy around the base of the ruck was very good as he made some dangerous carries.

Was on hand to score Leinster’s second try off the back of a dominant maul.

Cian Healy – 8 

Showed great hands in the build-up to Lowe’s try where he bounced off some would-be tackle attempts before firing out a pass to Sean Cronin. On the next phase, Leinster scored through Lowe.

Got through a huge amount of work, very good performance.

Sean Cronin – 6 

Unfortunately for Sean Cronin, his afternoon was ended early when he limped off with what looks to be an ankle injury. Was performing well up until that point.

Tadhg Furlong – 8 

Work rate.

That’s what Tadhg Furlong gives you and he does it time and time again, especially on the big stage. Tackled and carried his heart out while also holding his own at scrum time against a formidable Toulouse pack.

Devin Toner – 7 

Devin Toner’s presence seems to lift those around him as he played a vital role in a dangerous mauling effort throughout.

Some errors occurred with his handling which he won’t be happy with but that can probably be chalked down to his lack of game time.

James Ryan – 9 

At this stage, you expect at least an 8/10 every time James Ryan takes to the field.

His work rate is beyond question and he was a particularly busy man today with 18 carries and 17 tackles to his name.

Played a huge role in Leinster’s maul and was often the first man off the line leading his side’s defensive effort.

Scott Fardy – 7 

Worked really hard throughout to secure clean ruck ball for Leinster’s attack. Was rewarded for doing this tough work when he scored Leinster’s third try of the game which ultimately sealed his side’s passage to the final.

Put in a very good performance when called in at the last minute for the ill Rhys Ruddock.

Sean O’Brien – 7 

A return to form for Sean O’Brien who looked much more like his old self at the Aviva Stadium this afternoon.

Tackled and carried relentlessly while he was a busy man at ruck time.

Jack Conan – 8 

Any time Conan carries he utilises his superb footwork to keep defenders guessing and this usually results in front foot ball for his side.

He has been playing superb rugby this season and could easily be Ireland’s starting number eight at the World Cup if he keeps this form up.

Replacements:

James Tracy – 7

Kept things ticking over at lineout time and in the scrum as he was introduced after 30 minutes for Sean Cronin.

Ed Byrne – 6 

Got the final 20 minutes and produced a solid showing.

Michael Bent – N/A

Not on long enough to rate

Caelan Doris – N/A

Not on long enough to rate

Max Deegan – N/A

Came on for two short periods as a HIA replacement for Scott Fardy and then he permanently replaced the former Wallaby with two minutes remaining. Not on long enough to rate.

Hugh O’Sullivan – N/A

Not on long enough to rate

Ross Byrne – N/A

Not on long enough to rate

Rory O’Loughlin – N/A

Not on long enough to rate

About Sean McMahon

Sean is Head of Pundit Arena Rugby. Contact him on Twitter here: