“IF LEINSTER LOSE to the Bulls, it’s a big, big failure on their part,” Bernard Jackman told Gavan Casey and Murray Kinsella on Monday’s subscriber exclusive Rugby Weekly podcast.

“The Bulls aren’t all that,” Jackman said. “Munster have gone down there and beat them. Benetton made them look very average, there’s too many flaws in their performance. I haven’t been overly impressed by them.

“Look it, Leinster have to build it up as being an incredible expedition to get to Pretoria and the challenge of getting back, but I think there’s no excuse here. You have the best team in the URC on paper, you have the most internationals and you’ve been able to rest them during the year as best you can, so there’s no distractions.”


Wary that Leinster have failed to get over the line in recent Champions Cup finals, The42’s Murray Kinsella was keen to note that Leinster must stay humble if they are to book their place in a URC final, which could potentially be a Thomond Park clash against Munster. 

“I think you have to treat it with the utmost respect and have an element of edginess. They’re going to altitude and that’s a challenge, as well as the atmosphere that there is going to be there,” he said. 

“There’s some big units in that Bulls team too, the physicality of their carrying . . . they’re very good at doubling down but they do give you opportunities.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for Leinster to win on the road. What are they, four point favourites? That feels about right to me, but it’s certainly no gimme. It will take an improved performance.” 

Rugby Weekly host Gavan Casey also believes that the home crowd advantage that the Bulls will have could aid their chances of pulling off an upset.

“It’s going to be a different sort of atmosphere than at a regular URC game. Now that’s nothing that Leinster’s players won’t be used to but that combination of things, it will feel hostile. The fact that they’ve such a long trip down there, the fact that the Bulls are going to be up for it, the fans are going to be up for it, maybe they’re sort of levelling factors.”

Jackman said: “It’s obviously a contest, I accept that the travel and the home crowd make it harder for Leinster but I think they will win by more than four points . . . I think Leinster will do a job on them. Leinster unfortunately have cracked under similar circumstances so there’s a doubt there but I don’t think the Bulls are as good as Toulouse or La Rochelle potentially could be. Leinster should be able to win this one.” 

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