Caelan Doris proves world-class credentials as Leinster annihilate Racing 92
RACING 10-42 LEINSTER
How the mighty have fallen. Caelan Doris and Josh van der Flier were the Leinster top performers, but all contributed to a thumping win.
Four years ago, Racing 92 pushed Leinster to the brink in the Champions Cup final. Today, in Le Havre, calling this a contest would be an almighty stretch.
Leinster had a nightmare in travelling over to the coastal town for their first Champions Cup fixture of the season. Their scheduled flight to Le Havre was cancelled and the squad, and backroom staff, had to fly to Paris Beauxais and get taxis up to their destination for today's game.
The travel disruptions meant there would be no captain's run, or chance to assess the new settings. It mattered not, though, as Leo Cullen's side pulled Racing to shreds.
Leinster ran in six tries, with the game all but over as a contest with the four-time champions leading 21-3 at the break. Racing's cause was not helped by receiving two separate yellow cards, with Leinster getting over from first half tries through Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan and this cracker from Garry Ringrose:
A thing of Leinster beauty... pic.twitter.com/TcdK2q2fKU
— Pat McCarry (@patmccarry) December 10, 2022
Caelan Doris and Josh van der Flier seal victory
The second half saw Leinster go for the jugular and seal their 10th win from 10 games, so far, this season.
Josh van der Flier scored after a quick-tap penalty from close range, with Caelan Doris pulling back a lovely pass to tee up his back row partner. The World Rugby Player of the Year made no mistake and the try-scoring bonus point was secured.
Ed Byrne got Leinster's fifth try before van der Flier finished out the scoring, minutes after Christian Wade had crossed for a Racing consolation try. Caelan Doris was named Man of the Match and was our stand-out player, too.
Elsewhere, Garry Ringrose was superb in attack and defence while James Lowe and Hugo Keenan made great contributions and Dan Sheehan had another great outing. Over on BT Sport, former Wales and Lions centre Jamie Roberts gushed about Ringrose.
"This guy has always been a top, top player," said Roberts, "I just think that this season, and last, he has really reached his peak... I always enjoyed playing against him, and watching him now. He really is a top-class player."
Earlier in the week, Greg O'Shea and Lindsay Peat had talked up Garry Ringrose as a future Ireland captain (listen below). In Johnny Sexton's stead, this afternoon, Ringrose led Leinster to near perfection.
Our Man of the Match: Caelan Doris (Leinster)
LISTEN TO HOUSE OF RUGBY HERE:
- Ronan O'Gara confirms he is on shortlist for England head coach job
- "Johnny Sexton is THE best player that Ireland have ever had" - Jamie Heaslip
- "Two Irish players are best in the world" - Rugby reacts to big Josh van der Flier and Terry Kennedy awards