Highlights on Off The Ball

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Highlights on Off The Ball


Worrying scenes for Leinster as Tadhg Furlong limps off against Toulouse

Leinster and Ireland will sweat over the fitness of prop Tadhg Furlong after he limped off of the pitch in against Toulouse on Saturday.

Leinster and Ireland will sweat over the fitness of prop Tadhg Furlong after he limped off of the pitch in against Toulouse on Saturday.

Furlong looked to be testing his ankle after Leinster's first try, ultimately deciding that he could not play on any longer, hobbling off after just 17 minutes. He was replaced by Micheal Ala'alatoa.

Leinster hosted defending champions Toulouse in the Heineken Champions Cup semi-final in the Aviva on Saturday. After an early penalty for the hosts, Toulouse scored a wonder try to take the lead.

All of the momentum was with Leinster, as Jamison Gibson-Park put in a grubber kick into the Toulouse 5m line. It was blocked by world player of the year Antoine Dupont, who picked the ball up and ran in 95 meters to score.

Leinster then took firm control. James Lowe scored off of the hosts' repeated pressure, before a spectacular Jonathan Sexton dummy pass opened up a massive gap for Josh van der Flier to score from.

For their first try, Leinster secured the maul inside the Toulouse 22m, before Robbie Henshaw crashed it up and spun out of the tackle. After the recycle at the ruck, Sexton swung the ball out to Lowe who crashed over the line to regain the lead.

Sexton was heavily involved in the second try, as he received the ball off the back of the lineout and sold an exceptional dummy pass to open up the massive gap.

While he might have ran in the try earlier in his career, he opted to pass the ball to a hard-running support runner in Van der Flier, who was able to cross over for the try.

Things went from bad to worse for the defending champions, as Emmanuel Meafou was yellow carded moments before half time, for a cynical infringement inside the 5m line. The hosts took the 23-10 lead into half time.

While the visitors managed their period of 14 men well, Leinster ultimately increased their lead with half an hour to play. Lowe scored a brace with a try in the corner, after repeated pressure and clinical play by the hosts.

With 15 minutes left on the clock, Toulouse bit back. As they finally had some continued field position and possession, they secured the lineout inside the Leinster 22m.

Selevasio Tolofua was the try-scorer, tip-toeing his way along the touchline at the back of the maul before ultimately crashing over for the score. Thomas Ramos made it a 13-point game.

A Ross Byrne penalty with five minutes left all but sealed the victory for Leinster. However, they were not happy with just a 16-point victory, as Hugo Keenan finished with a flourish to score in the final minute, taking the hosts to a 40-17 win over the defending champions.

They will now face either Ronan O'Gara's La Rochelle or Racing 92 in the final in Marseille.

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Champions Cup Furlong Ireland James Lowe Jonathan Sexton Leinster Semi Final Tadhg Furlong