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18th Oct 2018

‘I think this Leinster team are better than the back-to-back champion teams’

Jack O'Toole

Former England international Andy Goode has said that he thinks that Leo Cullen’s  Leinster side are a better team than the Leinster sides that won back-to-back Heineken Cups under Joe Schmidt.

Leinster won the 2011 title against Northampton in Cardiff and then defended the Cup against Ulster the following year with a convincing over their rivals at Twickenham.

Ulster centre Darren Cave started at outside centre opposite Brian O’Driscoll that day and he feels that this current Leinster team are even better than those Schmidt sides.

“I got hosed in the Heineken Cup final six years ago and at the time I said that ‘that is the best club side that I’ve ever seen, possibly in the world’ but I think this team is better,” Cave said on the latest episode of The Rugby Pod.

Goode said that he think that Saracens are the only team that he can see that could challenge Leinster and that the Irish province could potentially put over a 100 points on some teams if they play like they did against Wasps last Friday.

“This Leinster team are unbelievable,” said Goode.

“I think this Leinster team are better than the Leinster team that won back-to-back Heineken Cups a couple of years ago.

“The O’Driscoll mob with Gordon D’Arcy and all those boys. This Leinster team is better than them and they proved it on Friday night against one of the best teams in England. What can I say? I thought Wasps defended well against a mountain of possession, against everything being thrown at them, against James Lowe who is unbelievably good.

“If Leinster played like that against anyone they wouldn’t put 50 points on teams, they’d put a 100 points on some teams. They’d beat Saracens by 20 points.”

On Baz & Andrew’s House of Rugby, Barry Murphy and Andrew Trimble marvelled at the sheer class of Leinster’s current crop. Murphy, a former Munster centre, went so far as to claim (from 14:00 below) Joe Schmidt would be justified if he were to go into November’s Guinness Series with a starting XV made up of Leinster players.

The Ireland team that defeated England at Twickenham to clinch the Grand Slam with seven Leinster players, but they are in such a good run of form – and with partnerships clearly thriving – that Murphy could see that number grow next month.

BARRY: The foot-work, the vision and the speed from Furlong (for Luke McGrath’s secomd try against Wasps). It just shows where Leinster are at that all across the field they’ve got players that can play like that.
ANDREW: It’s frightening to imagine how good this Leinster side can be, potentially. They’re just head and shoulders above everyone else in the competition. Saracens were okay. Like, they did an okay job up in Glasgow. It’s not an easy place to go, but still. But no-one is anywhere near Leinster at the minute.
BARRY: But for Joe Schmidt as well, how can he… he’s not going to… how can he ignore anyone that was on the pitch the other night? Going into the November internationals and World Cup, like, we’d such a bolter with James Ryan last year and how much he came on in 12 months. You’ve got (Jack) Conan this year, (Josh) van der Flier and even (Rhys) Ruddock in the back row was unbelievable. Luke McGrath, Ringrose, Larmour… where does it end?
ANDREW: I wish they were less likeable as well. Like the Leinster brand, I’m going uugghhh those guys, they’re all good lads! That’s the thing; that’s the annoying thing.

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