Tuesday 19 June 2018

Costa Rica CRI 0

Serbia SRB 1

REPORT

Germany GER 0

Mexico MEX 1

REPORT

Brazil BRA 1

Switzerland SUI 1

Full Time

Sweden SWE 1

South Korea KOR 0

REPORT

Belgium BEL 3

Panama PAN 0

REPORT

Tunisia TUN 1

England ENG 2

REPORT

Colombia COL

Japan JPN

Poland POL

Senegal SEN

Russia RUS

Egypt EGY

Portugal POR

Morocco MAR

Uruguay URY

Saudi Arabia SAU

Iran IRN

Spain ESP

Denmark DNK

Australia AUS

France FRA

Peru PER

Argentina ARG

Croatia CRO

Brazil BRA

Costa Rica CRI

Nigeria NGA

Iceland ISL

Serbia SRB

Switzerland SUI

Belgium BEL

Tunisia TUN

South Korea KOR

Mexico MEX

Germany GER

Sweden SWE

England ENG

Panama PAN

Japan JPN

Senegal SEN

Poland POL

Colombia COL

Saudi Arabia SAU

Egypt EGY

Uruguay URY

Russia RUS

Spain ESP

Morocco MAR

Iran IRN

Portugal POR

Denmark DNK

France FRA

Australia AUS

Peru PER

Iceland ISL

Croatia CRO

Nigeria NGA

Argentina ARG

Mexico MEX

Sweden SWE

South Korea KOR

Germany GER

Switzerland SUI

Costa Rica CRI

Serbia SRB

Brazil BRA

Senegal SEN

Colombia COL

Japan JPN

Poland POL

Panama PAN

Tunisia TUN

England ENG

Belgium BEL

Scarlets clash offers intrigue as Leinster book final berth

Leinster’s Jack Conan scores his side’s first-half try during the Pro 14 semi-final win over Munster at the RDS yesterday. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Leinster’s Jack Conan scores his side’s first-half try during the Pro 14 semi-final win over Munster at the RDS yesterday. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Brendan Fanning

Brendan Fanning

No matter who won yesterday's cracking Guinness Pro14 semi-final, they would have had a tailor-made story for next Saturday against Scarlets at the Aviva. A year ago, on a lovely, sunny evening at the RDS, the Welsh side ran Leinster off the park. And then did the same a week later to Munster.

So Leinster, who blitzed Scarlets in the Champions Cup semi-final last month, are the ones with the opportunity to straighten out the Pro14 record. They were put to the pin of their collar yesterday in a 16-15 win by a Munster side who reopened the debate after the arguments seemed done and dusted. But they couldn't quite get the last word in.

The result made for different send-offs to two great players. For Simon Zebo, it was his last game in red at any venue - well for the foreseeable, as he heads off to Racing soon - while for Isa Nacewa it was his last at the RDS. And possibly his last in blue, for the calf injury that made him a doubtful starter yesterday came back to haunt him. He is hopeful of being fit to face Scarlets but no more than that, but did well to get to half-time. "He's a different animal to anyone I've come across before," Leo Cullen said of him.

There are no fitness doubts about James Lowe, however, and it's unlikely Cullen has come across his like either. He is box-office, on and off the field, a huge personality who will add tremendous value wherever he goes. "It's exciting - it was good rugby; it was semi-final rugby; it was awesome," said Lowe.

So was he. In a man-of-the-match performance that had a bit of everything, bar a try for himself, he got things going with the way he opened the door for Jack Conan for the opening try of the game. Then he slammed it shut when Munster were trying to go the length of the field to save the game.

Having missed out on the European final last weekend, Lowe was always going to be up for this, in which case odds of 12/1 to be man of the match seemed attractive. Conan, too, was another who gave Leinster something else thanks to having fresher legs.

"Yeah, we talked about it before, the mental and physical toll that playing these big games takes is enormous," Cullen said afterwards. "So it was important that we did freshen things up. A couple of guys came in who were unlucky probably not to be picked the previous week as well. They came in and did well."

With what looked like a reasonable day on the injury front for Cullen and Joe Schmidt - who announces his Ireland squad in midweek - Leinster are well set for a double. In 2013, they lifted the European Challenge Cup and Pro12 in the same season, a send-off to Schmidt. Going one step higher will appeal to Cullen.

Sunday Indo Sport

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport