We have the latest team news, form, duel of the game plus verdict for Leinster Rugby vs Castres , Saturday 19th October, Kick Off 3:40pm.
Determined Leinster Look to Shut Down French Underdogs
Both teams grinded out well deserved victories in Round One, with Leinster outplaying a Lions-loaded Ospreys and Castres taking down an in-form Northampton. Neither Leinster nor Castres would be happy with their opening to their domestic seasons with Leinster lying 5th with only two wins and Castres lying a shocking 11th just a few months after their Top 14 triumph.
Leinster have been hit with a few injuries including Brian O’Driscoll (calf strain) and Mike Ross, but have been boosted by the arrival of Zane Kirchner from South Africa.
There is one change to the starting line up from the side that defeated the Ospreys last weekend with Martin Moore set to make his first Heineken Cup start after appearing as a replacement in Swansea last weekend in place of the injured Mike Ross (hamstring) who is close to regaining full fitness.
15: Rob Kearney, 14: Fergus McFadden, 13: Brendan Macken, 12: Gordon D’Arcy, 11: Dave Kearney, 10: Jimmy Gopperth, 9: Isaac Boss. 1: Cian Healy. 2: Sean Cronin, 3: Martin Moore, 4: Devin Toner, 5: Mike McCarthy, 6: Kevin McLaughlin, 7: Sean O’Brien,8: Jamie Heaslip
Castres on the other hand look to be coming to the RDS with no injury problems and an eagerness to cause an upset in this “Pool of Death”.
Duel Of The Game
This match will be won and lost at the breakdown and the aggression levels of both teams. I see a great clash between Leinster’s Sean O’Brien and Castres’ Antonie Claassen who both bring fierce intensity and strength to the game. Weighing in at a total of 214kg, this is going to be a titanic encounter which I expect Sean O’Brien to win after his steamrolling man of the match performance against the Ospreys.
This one is tough to call; I see great potential in the Castres team who proved they can step up to the challenge at Heineken Cup level against Northampton in the previous round.
In former years Castres lacked intensity and intent but they could be a different outfit this year after their Top 14 triumph last season. They have struggled away from home and may not be able to keep up the aggression for the full 80 minutes away to the top sides in the Heineken Cup. They have lost all seven games on Irish turf.
Although Leinster have had a disappointing start to the season, they have too much quality and experience to lose this home game and a fairly comprehensive win with an outside chance of a try scoring bonus point could send Leinster fans home very happy from the RDS.