Exeter vs Leinster
I’m sure every rugby fan will be a tiny little disappointed that this match is taking place in the quarter final as this is worthy of being the final. It’s the defending champions Exeter up against the record 4 time champions Leinster. There is so little to choose between these teams as they both have class players from nos.1 right through to 23. Leinster may have the more experienced team especially when it comes to Champion Cup exposure but Exeter have that never say die attitude that saw them being crowned double champions last year. These teams are littered with international quality all through the team and I expect this match to be a low scoring titanic affair. Both sides are miserly on defence and points will be at a premium but the overall playmaking ability of Johnny Sexton and his faultless goal kicking could prove to be the difference. Leinster was awarded their last match against Toulon because of a Covid outbreak in the French team’s camp but this could work either in a positive or negative way. I feel this would have a positive effect as the Leinster pack will be fresh while the Exeter players would be fatigued especially players like Stuart Hogg and Johnny Gray who have been playing nonstop for many weeks. These two teams play very similar by keeping the ball among the forwards and going through multiple phases trying to break the opposition defence. This is where Leinster has the advantage as they have great fetchers like Josh van der Flier and Rhys Ruddock who will want to disrupt Chiefs ball
TIP: Leinster showed in the Pro14 final that there is no other team that can play knockout football like the Irish giants and they won that match without their talisman Johnny Sexton. The player Exeter will want to target defensively is James Lowe as his defensive fragilities have been exposed numerous times and he can expect a bombardment of attacks. Leinster and Exeter have the 2 best fullbacks in Europe in Hugo Keenan and Stuart Hogg so this promises to be a great aerial dual. The greater experience of the Leinster team is going to make the difference and I am going for a Leinster win by less than 7 points. The best odds on the away win are at Playabets 1.84, Worldsportsbetting 1.80 and Sportingbet 1.80
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Exeter vs Leinster
- Leinster has won all four previous meetings.
- The last time they met was in 2017 with Leinster winning 22-17.
Latest results for both teams
Leinster won their last match 16-6 against Munster while Exeter won their match against Lyon 47-25.
The home ground advantage is negated for Exeter as there are no fans and the other plus factor for the away team is that all the Leinster players are fresh with their walkover win last week. Exeter’s biggest weapon is always their rolling maul and the best team at defending the maul is undoubtedly Leinster so this threat is nullified for the home team. In these tight knockout games goal kicking is crucial and there is no better kicker in the competition than Johnny Sexton and I think ultimately he win be the difference between the 2 teams therefore I predict a narrow Leinster win by less than 7 points
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Tom O’Flaherty, 10 Joe Simmonds (c), 9 Jack Maunder, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Jonny Gray, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Alec Hepburn
15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Jordan Larmour, 13 Rory O’Loughlin, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 James Lowe, 10 Johnny Sexton (c), 9 Luke McGrath, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Ryan Baird, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rónan Kelleher, 1 Cian Healy
Odds for this bet
There are great odds on the upset Chiefs win and these are the bookies offering the best odds. The best odds on the Leinster win are as follows
Odds comparison on Leinster handicap
The complete odds on the Leinster handicaps are as follows:
Playabets (-1.5) 1.95
Worldsportsbetting (-2.5) 2.00
Sportingbet (-1.5) 1.91
Predictions and Odds in details
Exeter are the one team that constantly turns downs penalty kicks to kick to the corner and use their rolling maul to great effect, it remains to be seen if they will back themselves against a great defensive team like Leinster. In Robbie Henshaw, Leinster have the best centre in Europe and his duel with England international Henry Slade will be worth the price of admission alone. The Halfback pairing of Sexton and Jack Mcgrath certainly have the edge of the Exeter pairing in both experience and the ability to control the game. I think this will be a bridge to far for Exeter and the Leinster desire for victory will take them home. The complete odds on the Leinster handicap victory are Playabets (-1.5) 1.95, Worldsportsbetting (-2.5) 2.00 and Sportingbet (-1.5) 1.91
Sports crazy fan that follows all major sport but the game with the oval ball is my real passion. Was an age level rugby coach and a huge supporter of the Springboks and diehard Liverpool man. I’m an experienced punter and sports writer whose predictions/tips are sure to stir up the emotions. I love the occasional wager on the underdog.