Leinster vs Montpellier
Competition: European Rugby Champions Cup
Date: 13 January 2017
Kick-off: 20:45 CET
There is still everything to play for in Pool four as one of Ireland’s best take on one of France’s powerhouses with the Irish province in the strongest position a full five points clear at the top.
Leinster have been dominating their pool, topping the group with 16 points, and they will feel all but assured of qualifying, but that does not necessarily translate into securing Top spot. Montpellier are chasing them down, as they sit in second, and this match will have a direct bearing on things as Leinster can be caught up should the French side win with a bonus point. The big benefit for Leinster is that they are at home, a fortress on any usual day, but more than that, it means that Montpellier have to travel, something no French side does too well.
Montpellier have been keeping in touch with the top, much like their exploits in the French Top 14 where they have also stayed up near the summit of the log. But their 11 points have come from two wins and two losses, with bonus points coming for both those tight losses, as well as one for a four-try win. Montpellier have a real winning attitude, and will of course be hunting top spot, but they can easily take second if they manage to stay ahead of Castres who are only three points behind them.
Leinster vs Montpellier: Previous encounter
As is so often the case with French sides, they are incredibly hard to beat at home as Montpellier ran out close 22-16 winners against the Irish side back in October. The Fijian wrecking ball Nemani Nadolo grabbed two tries for Montpellier as Leinster’s captain Isa Nacewa scored all their points in a try, conversion and three penalties.
Leinster vs Montpellier: Prediction
The first encounter was a tight one, and that was a home game for the French, now, traveling to the RDS, you have to feel they are already about 10 points back. The competitiveness between these two means that they probably will be close, but Leinster will run out home winners.
Leinster vs Montpellier: Tips
Nadolo is still in the team, and still a real force to be feared when it comes to his ability to score tries. Bank on him to grab another one at least in this replay.