Bloodgate, Sexton's masterclass and a Saintly comeback - 5 of Leinster's best Anglo-Irish victories 7 years ago

Bloodgate, Sexton's masterclass and a Saintly comeback - 5 of Leinster's best Anglo-Irish victories

Is there anything better than an Anglo-Irish battle on the rugby field?

We're not sure there is and we're a little bit giddy at the thought of the matches we'll be enjoying in the coming weeks.

Advertisement

First off, Joe Schmidt's boys in green take on Stuart Lancaster's England in a fight for Six Nations' dominance.

A few weeks later, Leinster face Bath in the European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final.

Facing teams from across the water in the latter stages of Europe's premier competition is not new territory for Leinster as the boys in blue have more memorable Anglo-Irish victories than most.

Here are some of our favourites:

Advertisement

Leinster 41-11 Wasps, 2008 Pool Stage

Brian O'Driscoll was taken off at half-time due to injury, although you could easily argue that the real reason O'Driscoll was taken off was his sensational talent wasn't fair on the opposition.

Ireland's best ever 13 turned Wasps inside out and arguably played one of the best halves of rugby ever seen.

Despite only playing the first half, he was still many fans' man of the match.

Advertisement

Here's why.

Bath 23-35 Leinster, 2006 Pool Stage

Advertisement

If this season's Champions Cup quarter-final between these two sides is half as entertaining as this game then we're in for a treat.

Early tries from an electric Shane Horgan, as well as efforts from Felipe Contepomi and Will Green set the standard for what is remembered as one of Leinster's most exciting performances.

Brian O'Driscoll and Horgan ran in two further tries in the second-half and had the game tied-up with about a half hour to go.

To Bath's credit, they did provide a late rally and both sides progressed to the next round.

Advertisement

Harlequins 5-6 Leinster, 2009 Quarter-finals

The Twickenham Stoop is one of those venues that sends shivers down the opposition's spines.

Leinster weren't even remotely intimidated in 2009 and ground out a victory that may not have had the panache of the Bath game, but definitely had the spirit.

This game is also famous for the 'bloodgate' incident, but we'd prefer to remember it for a heroic Leinster triumph.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbxHczOoTLI

Leinster 19-16 Leicester Tigers, 2009 Final

When people talk about the start of Leinster's golden age, this is the game they talk about.

The Lions were down 16-9 early in the second-half and playing with 14 men as Stan Wright was sent to the bin.

Argentinian talisman, Felipe Contepomi, was out injured so an inexperienced Johnny Sexton was the one pulling the strings.

And Johnny did not disappoint.

An amazing early drop goal, followed by the match-winning penalty, put Sexton on course for a career which has seen him become one of the best players to ever put on the blue jersey.

Leinster 33-22 Northampton Saints, 2011, Final

The comeback to end all comebacks.

Leinster looked dead in the water after 40 minutes.

They were 16, yes SIXTEEN, points down.

Their scrum had been battered and the 2009 victory was looking more like a flash in the pan than the beginning of an era.

All looked lost.

Then this happened...

Why not be part of Leinster's next big Anglo-Irish moment? Tickets are available for their European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final clash against Bath here.