Sports Update: As it happened: Leinster v Wasps, Champions Cup

  • Leinster
    Leinster
    S. Cronin 5′, L. McGrath 40′, J. Lowe 41′, L. McGrath 51′, J. Lowe 60′, J. Larmour 72′, R. Henshaw 74′, J. McGrath 79′

    52

  • Wasps
    Wasps

    3

As it happened: Leinster v Wasps, Champions Cup

Leo Cullen’s side got their European title defence underway against Wasps at the RDS on Friday night.

Friday 12th of Oct 2018 7:45PM

6:55PM

· FRIDAY

Five months on from their crowning moment in the Bilbao rain, Leinster get their Heineken Champions Cup title defence underway at the RDS this evening as they bid to win a record fifth crown and enhance their position as the European kingpins. 

Leo Cullen’s side, fully locked and loaded, begin their Pool 1 campaign with the visit of Wasps to the RDS, with a sell-out crowd of 18,300 expected under Friday night lights in Dublin.

Having won all nine of their games en route to a fourth star last season, victory tonight would equal the province’s longest winning streak in the competition which they set across the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons.

But the sight of Dai Young’s side arriving to town evokes painful memories of three years ago when Leinster’s campaign came crashing down on the opening weekend with a record 33-6 defeat to the Premiership outfit.

It’s sure to be a cracking competition curtain-raiser as the road to Newcastle 2019 begins, and we’ll guide you through all the action as it happens.

Stick with us for all the pre-match build-up between now and 7.45pm. 

6:57PM

· FRIDAY

The RDS looks a picture this evening, with the wet and windy weather having passed and conditions absolutely perfect for this Pool 1 encounter.

A view of the Heineken Champions Cup sleeve patch on a Leinster jersey 12/10/2018
Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

A view of the match ball on the pitch before the game 12/10/2018
Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Jonathan Sexton arrives 12/10/2018
Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

A view of the RDS ahead of the game 12/10/2018
Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

7:02PM

· FRIDAY

TEAM NEWS: Leo Cullen yesterday named a formidable starting XV for his side’s European opener, with the Leinster head coach making nine changes in personnel from last weekend’s win over Munster.

Johnny Sexton returns to captain the side, while Garry Ringrose, Jordan Larmour, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan and Tadhg Furlong are also among those also recalled tonight.

The province’s incredible strength in depth is again underlined by the fact last week’s captain, Rhys Ruddock, missed out completely while Sean O’Brien and Scott Fardy must settle for a place on the bench.

There is plenty of firepower and oomph among the replacements, as Leinster bid to get their campaign underway on a winning note.

Leinster:

15. Rob Kearney
14. Jordan Larmour
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. James Lowe
10. Jonathan Sexton (captain)
9. Luke McGrath

1. Cian Healy
2. Sean Cronin
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Devin Toner
5. James Ryan
6. Dan Leavy
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Jack Conan

Replacements:

16. James Tracy
17. Jack McGrath
18. Andrew Porter
19. Scott Fardy
20. Sean O’Brien
21. Nick McCarthy
22. Ross Byrne
23. Joe Tomane.

7:05PM

· FRIDAY

TEAM NEWS: As for Wasps, Dai Young is without captain Joe Launchbury, who today had surgery on his knee and will be sidelined for a period of 12 weeks, while scrum-half Dan Robson has also gone under the knife on an ankle problem.

They join former Leinster out-half Jimmy Gopperth on the Wasps injury list, but Willie le Roux and Lima Sopoaga return to bolster the visitors — two-time winners of the competition — for their trip to Dublin.

England winger Elliot Daly captains Wasps and they have no shortage of big-game experience of their own with James Haskell, Brad Shields and Thomas Young among those adding real power to their pack. 

Wasps:

15. Willie Le Roux
14. Josh Bassett
13. Juan de Jongh
12. Michael Le Bourgeois
11. Elliot Daly (captain)
10. Lima Sopoaga
9. Joe Simpson

1. Zurabi Zhvania
2. Tommy Taylor
3. Kieran Brookes
4. Will Rowlands
5. James Gaskell
6. Brad Shields
7. Thomas Young
8. Nizaam Carr

Replacements:

16. Tom Cruse
17. Ben Harris
18. Will Stuart
19. Kearnan Myall
20. Ashley Johnson
21. Craig Hampson
22. Billy Searle
23. Rob Miller.

7:09PM

· FRIDAY

There are no weak groups in this year’s competition, but Pool 1 is particularly strong with all four sides former winners and all boasting the credentials to push for the knock-out stages over the course of the next six rounds.

Bath open their campaign against Toulouse at the Rec tomorrow, with Leinster travelling to France next weekend in round two.

Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 19.08.47

7:09PM

· FRIDAY

What storm?

A view of the RDS ahead of the game 12/10/2018
Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

7:15PM

· FRIDAY

A little over half an hour until kick-off at the RDS, so to whet the appetite why don’t you browse our pre-match offerings, including a chat with former Leinster out-half Jimmy Gopperth:

  • ‘I really enjoyed my time at Leinster but knew Johnny was only gone for two years’

  • ‘We’re just one of the teams chasing it again’: Leinster hit reset in back-to-back bid

  • ‘It’s tough, but there’s no reason why we can’t win nine from nine again’

  • ‘There are a lot of guys disappointed’: Cullen’s Leinster fully locked and loaded

7:16PM

· FRIDAY

Elliot Daly, Jonathan Sexton and Romain Poite with Colin McCullagh at the coin toss 12/10/2018
Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Which way do you see this one going?

Poll Results:

7:28PM

· FRIDAY

Leo Cullen was speaking to the media at yesterday’s pre-match press conference:

“You start all over again from scratch. It is slightly different. The dynamic of the group is different. At the end of every year you lose a few players and a couple of guys come in or push through. Everyone is a year older. Some are wiser, others maybe not so. So the dynamic starts all over again. 

“We try to build our way into the season. We always have the challenge of trying to manage guys in at different stages. We’ve come through that and we have a nice competitive bunch of players here who want to push on and do well.

“They know what is at stake off the back of these games with selections in November and all the different bits that go on after that. The group are in good form but guys know that they have to play because if they don’t play well then chances are that someone else will come in and take their spot.”

7:37PM

· FRIDAY

LATE CHANGE: Leinster have been forced into a very late back row reshuffle with Dan Leavy pulled from the warm-up and he’s replaced by Rhys Ruddock, who is drafted in having initially missed out on selection for the matchday 23.

7:43PM

· FRIDAY

The teams have completed their pre-match warm-ups and we’re just about set to get underway at the RDS, with the stands filling up nicely ahead of kick-off. 

Here come Wasps, led by their captain Elliot Daly…

7:43PM

· FRIDAY

We’re being told Dan Leavy injured his leg in the warm-up.

Leo Cullen with Dan Leavy before the game 12/10/2018
Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

7:46PM

· FRIDAY

KICK OFF! All Black Lima Sopoaga gets us underway, with Devin Toner plucking the kick off out of the Friday evening air. 18,300 crammed inside the RDS for the 2018/19 season opener. 

2Mins

7:49PM

· FRIDAY

2 mins — Leinster 0-0 Wasps

Early chance for Leinster to set down an attacking marker as Willie le Roux fumbles McGrath’s up-and-under and it’s a scrum to the hosts. The defending champions move through the phases before Cian Healy knocks on in contact and Wasps will be pleased with that early defensive set. 

3Mins

7:50PM

· FRIDAY

3 mins — Leinster 0-0 Wasps

But that’s not a good start for the visitors at the set-piece as Healy gets the better of Kieran Brookes and Romain Poite awards Leinster a scrum penalty. Sexton pings it towards the corner, but the hosts are playing into a stiff breeze in this first half. 

7:51PM

· FRIDAY

5 mins — TRY! Leinster 7-0 Wasps (Sean Cronin)

Leinster are up and running, and it’s the explosive pace of Cronin which cuts Wasps apart as the hooker bursts through a gap and finishes brilliantly. 

With a penalty advantage, the space opened up for Cronin at the breakdown and he didn’t need a second invitation to surge through and open Leinster’s account for the new season. Sexton converts from under the sticks. 

9Mins

7:55PM

· FRIDAY

8 mins — Leinster 7-0 Wasps

Perfect start for the defending champions and they win a free-kick as Poite penalises Wasps at the lineout, but Leinster are then pinged for being offside, Jack Conan the guilty party on that occasion. 

10Mins

7:56PM

· FRIDAY

10 mins — Penalty! Leinster 7-3 Wasps (Lima Sopoaga)

The Kiwi out-half points to the posts and he judges the wind nicely to get Wasps on the board. 

11Mins

7:57PM

· FRIDAY

James Ryan with Michael Le Bourgeois 12/10/2018
Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

12Mins

7:59PM

· FRIDAY

12 mins — Leinster 7-3 Wasps 

Brilliant work from Devin Toner as he claws Sexton’s restart back and McGrath completes the turnover to put Leinster on the front foot. Henshaw is then hit hard in midfield but Josh Bassett is penalised for a deliberate knock-on as the Ireland centre looked to spread it wide for Ringrose. Sexton kicks for the corner. 

14Mins

8:00PM

· FRIDAY

14 mins — Leinster 7-3 Wasps

But that’s a huge relieving steal from Thomas Young as he gets in a great position to complete the turnover after Wasps had wrapped Ringrose up. 

15Mins

8:02PM

· FRIDAY

15 mins — Leinster 7-3 Wasps

The visitors are settling into the contest nicely after the concession of that early try, with nice hands from le Roux releasing Daly down the left but Leinster had numbers in defence to shut the door on the England winger. 

17Mins

8:02PM

· FRIDAY

Sean Cronin celebrates scoring a try 12/10/2018
Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

18Mins

8:04PM

· FRIDAY

18 mins — Leinster 7-3 Wasps

Leinster run it from deep as Ringrose flings a looping pass out wide for Larmour, who chips ahead and used his pace to put the covering Juan de Jongh under pressure, before the Wasps centre hacks it to safety. 

18Mins

8:06PM

· FRIDAY

18 mins — Leinster 7-3 Wasps

Leinster moving through the gears in attack now as they get good first-phase possession of the lineout and Ringrose and then van der Flier make big carries, before the move breaks down and Daly clears his line with a booming kick down field. 

20Mins

8:07PM

· FRIDAY

James Ryan with Nizaam Carr 12/10/2018
Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

21Mins

8:08PM

· FRIDAY

Was Sean Cronin offside at the ruck in the build-up to Leinster’s opening try?

22Mins

8:09PM

· FRIDAY

22 mins — Leinster 7-3 Wasps

Wasps are showing good patience with ball in hand as they hammer away at the Leinster defence through 10 phases. The blue shirts are up quickly and eventually le Roux tries to force something by kicking cross-field for Daly, but it bobbles into touch. 

24Mins

8:12PM

· FRIDAY

24 mins — Leinster 7-3 Wasps

Leinster again work their way within striking distance with another relentless, energy-sapping phase of attacking play as Henshaw and Ruddock carried hard in midfield, before the ball is knocked on under the posts.

Dai Young is on the microphone on BT Sport and says: “As manful as the defence is, it’s not something we can do for 80 minutes.”

Wasps have shown good intensity in defence and have worked incredibly hard, but Leinster are hammering away having enjoyed 70% possession in the opening 24 minutes. 

24Mins

8:13PM

· FRIDAY

Elliot Daly with Jordan Larmour 12/10/2018
Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

28Mins

8:19PM

· FRIDAY

28 mins — Leinster 7-3 Wasps

Jordan Larmour appears to be in danger as Wasps look to turn it over, but there are just enough blue shirts on hand to retain possession before van der Flier juggles Sexton’s pass and then surges through a gap to bring Leinster up to halfway. 

30Mins

8:20PM

· FRIDAY

30 mins — Leinster 7-3 Wasps

The relentless pass of proceedings continues apace, as Lowe splits the Wasps defence in two with a mazy run from deep but his fired pass inside for the supporting Sexton doesn’t go to hand and the move breaks down again. 

32Mins

8:22PM

· FRIDAY

Electric from James Lowe.

34Mins

8:27PM

· FRIDAY

34 mins — Leinster 7-3 Wasps

The visitors are holding their own at the set-piece and their scrum again gives Wasps a solid attacking platform, only for Sopoaga’s looping pass out wide for Bassett to slip through the grasp of the winger and into touch. Leinster got caught a little narrow there and that was a real chance for Young’s side. 

37Mins

8:29PM

· FRIDAY

37 mins — Leinster 7-3 Wasps

Frustration for Leinster. Henshaw tears through midfield and then Ruddock scoops up the loose ball to continue the forward momentum for the hosts as Wasps scramble back.

The blue shirts come flowing forward and they’re within striking distance again, moving the ball from left to right, before that man Thomas Young comes away with the ball before the visitors win a relieving penalty in front of their posts. Great work from Wasps.

38Mins

8:29PM

· FRIDAY

James Lowe 12/10/2018
Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

40Mins

8:32PM

· FRIDAY

40 mins — Yellow card! Lima Sopoaga

Leinster win a penalty inside their own 22 as the clock strikes red and they’re off and running with a quick tap-and-go as Henshaw fires it wide and Cronin has Lowe outside him, but his pass is slapped down by Sopoaga.

Poite has no option but to send the Kiwi out-half to the bin, and Leinster are looking to strike right on the break.  

40Mins

8:33PM

· FRIDAY

40 mins — Leinster 7-3 Wasps

Wasps are working incredibly hard in defence and making a series of huge hits to repel Leinster’s efforts…but here’s Lowe on the left.

Flag

40Mins

8:35PM

· FRIDAY

40 mins — TRY! Leinster 14-3 Wasps (Luke McGrath)

And the reward comes as Lowe barges his way up the left and when it’s worked back inside, McGrath spots the gap and snipes over from three yards out. That’s the scrum-half’s fifth European try, with Sexton successfully tacking on the extras.

40Mins

8:36PM

· FRIDAY

Half-time! Leinster 14-3 Wasps

What a time to strike and Leinster head into the break with a slightly cosier cushion after enjoying most of the possession and territory in that first period. Cronin and McGrath with the tries for the defending champions. 

40Mins

8:38PM

· FRIDAY

The two teams come out to start the game 12/10/2018
Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Sean Cronin 12/10/2018
Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Garry Ringrose 12/10/2018
Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

8:45PM

· FRIDAY

That half-time scoreline better reflects the pattern of the game with Leinster dominant in both the possession and territory stakes and utterly relentless in their phase play and ball retention.

Luke McGrath scores their second try 12/10/2018
Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

The pressure eventually told after Wasps very nearly held out until the break, as Luke McGrath darted through for Leinster’s second try of the night after the visitors had gone down to 14 men. 

Dai Young’s side have worked tirelessly in defence and have got through Trojan work, with Thomas Young forcing two turnovers and Tommy Taylor making 24 of his side’s 139 first-half tackles, but Leinster are in a commanding position. 

41Mins

8:51PM

· FRIDAY

KICK OFF! We’re back underway at the RDS, as Sexton sets the ball rolling again with a deep restart. Leinster have made a change at the break, with Cian Healy replaced by Jack McGrath. 

Flag

42Mins

8:53PM

· FRIDAY

41 mins — TRY! Leinster 21-3 Wasps (James Lowe)

It’s the Lowe show! Leinster are going for the jugular now as Lowe scythes through midfield with a ruthless execution of a training-ground move as the Kiwi wingers finishes powerfully to bring his tally for the season to five. 

43Mins

8:55PM

· FRIDAY

43 mins — Leinster 21-3 Wasps

That was special from the Kiwi winger as he latched onto Henshaw’s pass, showed pace to burst through and clear of the Wasps defence and then huge power to hold off two tacklers to dot down. A brilliant try. 

James Lowe 12/10/2018
Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

45Mins

8:56PM

· FRIDAY

45 mins — Leinster 21-3 Wasps

As Sopoaga prepares to come back on, this has been a very costly 10-minute period for Wasps. Leinster are just so ruthless and like they did on so many occasions last season, struck either side of the break to gain a firm stranglehold on proceedings. 

46Mins

8:57PM

· FRIDAY

Sit back and enjoy.

Flag

53Mins

9:04PM

· FRIDAY

51 mins — TRY! Leinster 28-3 Wasps (McGrath)

And that’s the bonus point try! The move starts from deep as Toner spreads it to Furlong, who shows brilliant skills to straighten and offload for Lowe, who in turn feeds McGrath on his inside shoulder. Ridiculous from Furlong, and Leinster are motoring now. 

57Mins

9:10PM

· FRIDAY

57 mins — Leinster 28-3 Wasps

Leinster are motoring now, and Cullen is unloading his bench as we near the hour mark. Tracy, Porter, O’Brien and Tomane are all on for Cronin, Furlong, van der Flier and Kearney. 

62Mins

9:15PM

· FRIDAY

61 mins — TRY! Leinster 35-3 Wasps (Lowe)

It’s that man again but it’s all about the initial line from Ryan and then the second row’s dexterity to offload to keep the move going. Leinster then recognise the space down the left side and Sexton sends Lowe hurtling for the line with an outrageous pass through his legs! He duly adds the extras, too. 

65Mins

9:18PM

· FRIDAY

64 mins — Leinster 35-3 Wasps

My word, this is an absolute masterclass from Leinster. Regardless of the number on their back, the skill levels on show from every Leinster player is off the charts and they’re absolutely tearing it up.

Nick McCarthy and Scott Fardy are on, by the way, as the defending champions flex their considerable muscle on the opening night. 

65Mins

9:18PM

· FRIDAY

Luke McGrath celebrates scoring their fourth try with Josh van der Flier, James Lowe and Devin Toner 12/10/2018
Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

68Mins

9:22PM

· FRIDAY

68 mins — Leinster 35-3 Wasps

The RDS in good voice now as Leinster power on towards an emphatic round one victory. Wasps get into the opposition 22 for the first time but the blue shirts shut the door and then Lowe — who else? — clears the danger with a booming kick down field. 

70Mins

9:24PM

· FRIDAY

70 mins — Leinster 35-3 Wasps

Sexton receives a standing ovation as he departs for Ross Byrne. This was outstanding from the Leinster captain.

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72Mins

9:27PM

· FRIDAY

72 mins — TRY! Leinster 42-3 Wasps (Larmour)

Jordan Larmour gets in on the act after another period of sustained pressure. Strong carries from O’Brien and the forwards pummels the Wasps defence back and then Byrne, just on, shifts the point of attack with Larmour arching around the back to finish for Leinster’s sixth of the night. 

74Mins

9:28PM

· FRIDAY

James Lowe celebrates scoring their fifth try with Tadhg Furlong 12/10/2018
Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

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76Mins

9:29PM

· FRIDAY

75 mins — TRY! Leinster 47-3 Wasps (Henshaw)

It’s all too easy for Leinster now, who are running riot. Larmour spots the space out wide and flings a flat pass out for Ringrose who links with Henshaw to stumble over in the far corner. Byrne is unable to add the extras. 

77Mins

9:32PM

· FRIDAY

77 mins — Leinster 47-3 Wasps

The English visitors are heading for a record European defeat and for a side which such attacking prowess, they haven’t fired a shot in anger all evening as Leinster cut loose after the break. 

James Lowe, meanwhile, has just been named man-of-the-match by Brian O’Driscoll on BT Sport and there will be no arguments about that selection. 

77Mins

9:34PM

· FRIDAY

77 mins — Leinster 47-3 Wasps

Rhys Ruddock accidentally clatters into the back of Romain Poite and the French official looks a bit groggy as he gets back to his feet. He heads down the tunnel and is replaced for the final three minutes. 

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80Mins

9:36PM

· FRIDAY

79 mins — TRY! Leinster 52-3 Wasps (Jack McGrath)

And there’s the half-century as McGrath delivers the coup de grâce in the far corner. The pack do all the hard yards with a powerful rolling maul and the replacement prop falls over the whitewash. 

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80Mins

9:37PM

· FRIDAY

Full-time! Leinster 52-3 Wasps

And that’s it, Leinster’s title defence is up and running in emphatic fashion as they tore Wasps apart on a memorable night at the RDS.

80Mins

9:39PM

· FRIDAY

Robbie Henshaw celebrates scoring their seventh try with teammates 12/10/2018
Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

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