Concerning post-match updates on Dan Leavy and Rory Best
The bad news will officially arrive in the coming days, but neither of these sound good.
Leinster edged Ulster in an absolute thriller at the Aviva Stadium and there will very few players reporting fit and ready to rock if either province is mad enough to schedule a full training day on Monday.
Both sides tore into each other in an absorbing Champions Cup quarter final and, by the time Romain Poite blew the final whistle, there were 451 tackles registered over the 80 minutes. It was painful even to watch. Painful yet unmissable.
Two victims of the all-out war - won by Leinster, 21-18 - were Dan Leavy and Rory Best. The Ireland captain lasted only 16 minutes while Leavy was stretchered off not long after he came on for Sean O'Brien.
Leavy's injury looks to be the most serious and he may not play again this season.
Dan Leavy being stretchered off the field, on 63 minutes. He has had no luck with injuries ever since the tour Down Under last summer pic.twitter.com/YYPfm8IZc9
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) March 30, 2019
Asked if Dan Leavy had broken his leg, post-match Leinster head coach Leo Cullen responded:
"Yeah, Dan has had a bad injury. I don't want to get into much detail but he's had a bad injury, so he'll be out for a while.
"We'll see and get it assessed and take it from there.
"With him and Josh (van der Flier), it has been a tough year. But that is sometimes the nature of our game. But, yeah, it's a tough one for Dan."
Leavy was one of Leinster and Ireland's best players in 2017/18 but he has been plagued with injuries since touring Australia with the national squad last summer. Getting back fit for pre-season, with an eye on the World Cup, may be the best he can hope for.
As for Rory Best, his ankle was strapped up quickly as he came off for Rob Herring. The hooker had started brightly but it was just not to be as injury cut his day short. Ulster head coach Dan McFarland commented:
"It's obviously his ankle. He's got ice on it now. We'll assess that in 48 hours and then let you know."
Now out of the Champions Cup, Ulster could still have as much as six Guinness PRO14 games left if they get all the way to the final. On a more positive note, Will Addison should return soon while Luke Marshall scored a try, off the bench, in his first Ulster game in 10 months after a long-term injury.