Champions Cup Semi-Finals Preview

Champions Cup Semi-Finals Preview

This weekend we are set for two titanic battles in the Champions Cup semi-finals as English giants Saracens host Irish powerhouse Munster and Reigning champions Leinster host high flying Toulouse.


 

 

The best that European Rugby has to offer will be on show  on Saturday and we thought we would take a look at each side form heading into the semis

 

 

 

Saracens vs Munster

 

These two last met in 2017, and it was the English side who comfortably beat the Irish side  26-10 in Dublin. Both teams have won this competition on two occasions but let’s see how the form guide looks going into this encounter.

 

Line Ups:

 

 

 

Saracens

Premiership Form:

Position – Second

Last Five Games – WLWWL

 

 

Attacking and Defending Statics:

Averages Metres Per Game – 392

Average Points Per Game – 29

Average Carries – 123

Tackle Percentage – 88%

 

Champions Cup Form:

Last Seven Games – WWWWWWW

Attacking and Defending Statics:

Averages Metres Per Game – 417

Average Points Per Game – 34

Average Carries – 122

Tackle Percentage – 85%

 

 

 

Key Player: Owen Farrell

The England International is seen as the general in the backline for Sarries and has already accumulated 158 points in all competitions.  Farrell is also seen one of the main playmakers for his side and has racked up nine try assists until now.

 

 

 

Munster

Pro 14 Form:

Position – Qualified For Pro14 Finals

Last Five Pro14 Games – WWLWW

 

 

Attacking and Defending Statics:

Averages Metres Per Game – 422

Average Points Per Game – 29

Average Carries – 130

Tackle Percentage – 87%

 

Champions Cup Form:

Last Seven Games –  DWWLWWW (Draw and Loss Away From Home)

 

 

Attacking and Defending Statics:

Averages Metres Per Game – 280

Average Points Per Game – 22

Average Carries – 113

Tackle Percentage – 89%

 

 

 

Key Players: CJ Stander and Tadhg Beirne

Ireland No. 8 CJ Stander is one player one will need to keep a close eye on this weekend. The South African born star always displays tireless work-rate and has the most tackles in the Champions Cup this year (112). Stander has 213 tackles in all competitions this season and that puts him third on his club’s list.

Munster also leads the way in the number of turnovers and it’s Tadhg Beirne who has made an astonishing 14 of them in the competition.  In total, the Irishman has made 29 turnovers in all competition which is the most by any Munster player.

 

 

Leinster vs Toulouse

Reigning champions Leinster won their fourth Champions Cup title last season when they beat Racing 92 15-12 in Bilbao, whereas Toulouse have to go back to 2010 for their last European Cup. The two sides will know each other quite well, having faced each or twice in the pool phase. The Irish outfit lost 28-27 in France in October and then won 29-13 at the RDS Arena in January. Let’s see how the form guide looks going into this encounter.

 

Line Ups:

 

Leinster

Pro 14 Form:

Position – Qualified For Pro14 Finals

Last Five Games – WWLLL

 

Attacking and Defending Statics:

Averages Metres Per Game – 441

Average Points Per Game –  33

Average Carries – 155

Tackle Percentage – 89%

 

 

Champions Cup Form:

Last Seven Games – WLWWWWW

Attacking and Defending Statics:

Averages Metres Per Game – 456

Average Points Per Game – 32

Average Carries – 156

Tackle Percentage – 88%

 

 

Key Player: James Ryan

The Irish lock has been in fantastic form this season and has a strong attacking game which will be key for Leinster. Ryan has made 103 carries in this competition which averages around 14.71 a game. He also does a great job on defence and has completed 107 tackles which calculates to 15 a match.

 

Toulouse

 

Top 14 Form:

Position – First Place

Last Five Games – WWWLW

 

 

 

Attacking and Defending Statics:

Averages Metres Per Game – 434

Average Points Per Game –  28

Average Carries – 123

Tackle Percentage – 88%

 

Champions Cup Form:

Last Seven Games – WWWWLWW

 

 

Attacking and Defending Statics:

Averages Metres Per Game – 445

Average Points Per Game – 24

Average Carries – 132

Tackle Percentage – 86%

 

 

Key Player: Cheslin Kolbe

The South African international has been in sensational form for the French side season and has produced some magical moments in the Champions Cup. This season Kolbe has beaten 101 defenders and 45 of those have come in this competition. The winger has gained 1295 metres in total this season and 486 metres is in the competition.  

 

 

 

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