Rugby This is another magnificent constituent.
The Heineken Champions Cup weekend continues at pace for Ireland’s provinces.
It’s French opposition for all four and, after Ulster’s close-fought win over Clermont last night, the clock has just gone 80 in Connacht’s clash with Toulouse.
The Westerners made a hell of a fist of it against the Top14 champions, the scoreline reads 25-17 at the minute.
But our main focus in this liveblog is Leinster’s clash with the current Top14 leaders.
Lyon could well be out to lay down a marker against a European heavyweight.
Connacht shipped a fourth try with the clock long gone red in Toulouse. A 32-17 loss barely does them justice, but what justice does sport ever give.
The other match in Leinster’s pool is currently coming to a dramatic finish as Benetton and Northampton are deadlocked on 32 points apiece in Italy.
Both sides have the try bonus, so they could both walk away with three points here if there’s no decisive act.
There is a winner in Treviso and it is Northampton!
The Saints march to the top of Pool 1 having beaten Lyon in round one and come out the right side of this razor-thin margin thanks to an 85th minute Dan Biggar penalty.
They’ll face Leinster in next month’s back-to-backs.
Here are your horses for today’s course. Lyon will look to their excellent half-back combination of Jonathan Wisniewski and Baptiste Couilloud to steer the side behind that powerful pack.
Leo Cullen has recalled Rob Kearney to fullback, a steady hand to help manage whatever the in-form French club can throw at them.
15. Toby Arnold
14. Xavier Mignoy
13. Thibaut Regard
12. Charlie Ngatai
11. Noa Nakaitaci
10. Jonathan Wisniewski
9. Baptiste Couilloud (captain)
1. Xavier Chiocci
2. Mickael Ivaldi
3. Demba Bamba
4. Virgile Bruni
5. Hendrick Roodt
6. Julien Puricelli
7. Liam Gill
8. Carl Fearns
16. Jeremie Maurourard
17. Raphael Chaume
18. Francisco Gomez Kodela
19. Etienne Oosthuizen
20. Loann Goujon
21. Jonathan Pélissié
22. Jean-Marcellin Buttin
23. Rudi Wulf
15. Rob Kearney
14. Jordan Larmour
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. James Lowe
10. Johnny Sexton (captain)
9. Luke McGrath
1. Cian Healy
2. Rónan Kelleher
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Scott Fardy
5. James Ryan
6. Rhys Ruddock
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Max Deegan
16. James Tracy
17. Ed Byrne
18. Andrew Porter
19. Devin Toner
20. Josh Murphy
21. Jamison Gibson-Park
22. Ross Byrne
23. Dave Kearney
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
The teams are out on the field in a dull and damp Lyon.
The home sidekick offdeep into Leinster territory.
Early pressure from Lyon comes on the back of a left-hand scrum. Charlie Ngatai is tasked with early hard yards, but the blue wall gradually gains ground in contact and forces Wisniewski into attempting a drop-goal.
Rhys Ruddock shows good footwork in contact, but Lyon take advantage of some hesitant support at the breakdown.
Leinster’s progress is slowed down only briefly though and the move it right before Garry Ringrose attempts a cut and is snagged by a high hand in the tackle.
PENALTY! Lyon 0 Leinster 3 (Sexton ’8)
Smooth action, clean outcome.
Leinster certainly look the steadier of the sides out there and are forcing errors from their hosts. The commentary team also could do with upping the accuracy. Mike McCarthy has referred to Leinster’s left win three times as George Lowe and Jonny Sexton pings his second penalty attempt off the post in between.
A high-tempo attack from Leinster ends with nothing there after Sexton carried into contact. Ringrose attempted to chip ahead as he slipped into first receiver. It’s overcooked and the hosts clear it long.
A chip over the top causes all sorts of bother for Leinster there as Arnold continued following it along with the pill bobbling back against his shins.
They can’t quite make the breakthrough count in attack though and they cough up a turnover thanks to Josh van der Flier and James Ryan storms away.
There’s support in spades, but cover too. The move is slowed in contact and that suits Leinster to a tee as it leads to a Max Deegan try.
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