Sean Farrell reports from the Aviva Stadium
FOUR TITLES APIECE they may have had, but Toulouse will leave Dublin in no doubt that they have massive strides to make to gain parity on the field with Leinster.
The French side were held try-less as the reigning champions powered to a 30-12 Heineken Champions Cup semi-final win to set up a 11 May showdown with Saracens in Newcastle.
Speaking after tries from James Lowe, Luke McGrath and Scott Fardy helped Leinster into their fifth final, Toulouse head coach Ugo Mola hailed the eastern province’s performance on a sun-drenched day in Dublin.
“The best team won, we all think that’s clear,” said Mola in relatively upbeat tones.
“Leinster’s team created a mastery of rugby and some good opportunities in the match, we were unable to resist the trend.”
Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO
While Mola didn’t agree that his side had been ‘suffocated’ by Leinster, he returned to credit Stuart Lancaster’s defence as being the best in Europe and lamented that his twin scrum-halves of Sebastien Bezy and Antoine Dupont were unable to create enough openings.
“We had to fight the best defence in Europe. If we’re able to make progress, we’ll get closer to what Leinster can do.”
Number 10 Dupont, who ordinarily operates as a scrum-half, added:
“Leinster did great preparation, they knew how to play, they blocked the contact and they have a very mobile defence and when we had the ball we weren’t able to destabilise them.”
Skipper Jerome Kaino shook his head at ‘compounding errors’ from his side which helped Leinster grow their momentum, but he also echoed the sentiment of his coach as he praised the reigning champions on their way back to the final.
“I’ve said before they’re world class,” said the former All Black.
“As a collective they’re great. that atmosphere and that game is definitely up there.
“As a whole system and team, they’re definitely world class.”
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