Next Race Newspaper
Free Bets
My Account

Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Munster may surge clear of Toulouse after the interval

Red Army can repeat the trick

Jonny Sexton is back at the controls at fly-half for Leinster
1 of 1

Leinster v Wasps
BT Sport 2, 3.15pm Saturday

Forewarned is forearmed and Leinster look worth a wager to give up three points at the Aviva Stadium in the first Champions Cup quarter-final and avenge last season’s two pool-stage defeats to Wasps.

Leinster, tournament winners in 2011 and 2012, are in much finer fettle this campaign, leading the way in the Pro12 on a run of seven straight wins and victorious in all ten games in Dublin with nine by a double-figure margin.

In the pool stages at the Aviva, they were barely troubled by Castres before one-sided tonkings of Northampton and Montpellier.

Stalwarts Rob Kearney and Jamie Heaslip are among the home injuries but Joey Carbery is an exciting prospect at full-back and Jack Conan is no reserve number eight. Johnny Sexton is back at the controls at fly-half and scrum-half Luke McGrath is scoring tries for fun.

Wasps top the Premiership and their backline is arguably even better than last season with Kurtley Beale and Willie Le Roux in the back three.

But their pack still need to prove that they can boss the breakdown and set-piece away from the Ricoh Arena on the bigger occasions. They were ground down in both league and European semi-finals last year.

In the pool stages, Wasps stole a draw in Toulouse and were turned over in controversial circumstances in Connacht and they have won only two of their last six Premiership away games.

Leinster -3
1pt 10-11 Coral

European meetings – 2015-16: Leinster 6 Wasps 33, Wasps 51 Leinster 10; 2014-15: Leinster 25 Wasps 20, Wasps 20 Leinster 20; 2008-09: Leinster 41 Wasps 11, Wasps 19 Leinster 12; 2006-07 quarter-final: Wasps 35 Leinster 13.

Munster v Toulouse
Sky Sports 2, 5.45pm

Munster mauled Toulouse 47-23 in their last quarter-final meeting at Thomond Park and they can repeat the trick in the second quarter-final, in which the best bet is the Red Army to give up four points after the break.

Munster won all three pool-stage games in Limerick by a double-figure margin and their only Pro12 defeat in 12 – 30-21 at home to Scarlets in February – guards against complacency.

They could sacrifice some of their attacking verve in the first half in order to find the defensive solidity that saw them concede only four tries in the pool stages.

Toulouse are off the pace in the Top 14 and have lost ten of 13 away games in all competitions. Also in the pool stages, Connacht stormed back from 21-11 down at half-time to beat them at the Sports­ground, while Wasps scored 14 points in the last 20 minutes to win at Ricoh Arena.

Munster -4.5 on second-half handicap
2pts 5-6 Paddy Power

European meetings – 2013-14 quarter-final: Munster 47 Toulouse 23; 2007-08 final: Munster 16 Toulouse 13; 2002-03 semi-final: Toulouse 13 Munster 12; 1999-2000 semi-final: Toulouse 25 Munster 31; 1996-97: Toulouse 60 Munster 19.

Johnny Sexton is back at the controls at fly-half and scrum-half Luke McGrath is scoring tries for fun
E.W. Terms
Sky bet