Leinster v La Rochelle 2022 European Rugby Champions Cup Final: High five for the Dubliners

By | May 27, 2022

It’s the match rugby fans have been dreaming of as Leinster take on La Rochelle in the 2022 European Rugby Champions Cup Final on Saturday.

The Dubliners face the team from the south coast of France, with La Rochelle’s chances bolstered with this match played in their home nation. The Stade Velodrome, Marseille, provides the backdrop and followers of The Privateers hope to watch their side triumph.

Leinster are a team that is used to winning major trophies, and they rate as Ireland’s most successful side. La Rochelle are no stranger to competing in the latter stages of this tournament and hope that experience will help guide them to the trophy.

Leinster v La Rochelle Betting Odds and Match Information

Match Information

  • Leinster are this competition’s second most successful team on four titles, one trophy behind Toulouse.
  • La Rochelle have never lifted the European Cup of rugby, but they did go close last season, finishing as runners up.
  • The Dubliners last reached the final in 2019 but were beaten on that occasion, meaning they haven’t won in four years.
  • Venue & Location: Stade Velodrome (Marseille, France)
  • Start Time: 11:45 a.m. Eastern Time (5:45 p.m. local time)

Leinster vs. La Rochelle Betting Odds

Odds are from FanDuel.

Moneyline

  • Leinster to win -430
  • Draw +2100
  • La Rochelle to win +430

Over/Under

  • Over 44.5 (-108)
  • Under 44.5 (-108)

Spread

  • Leinster -10.5 (-118)
  • La Rochelle +10.5 (-104)

Leinster have experience

Leinster booked their spot in the final of the European Champions Cup for the sixth time following an emphatic win over old rivals Toulouse in the semi-finals.

The Dubliners enter this match as the tournament’s second most successful team but with a chance to move into pole position.

They have plenty of experience of winning this trophy, having tasted glory four times between 2009 and 2018. Their most recent trip to the final ended in defeat when finishing in the silver medal position three years ago.

Last five results for Leinster

  • United Rugby Championship vs. Munster: Won 35-25
  • European Rugby Champions Cup SF vs. Toulouse: Won 40-17
  • European Rugby Champions Cup QF at Leicester Tigers: Won 23-14
  • United Rugby Championship at Stormers: Lost 20-13
  • United Rugby Championship at Sharks: Lost 28-23

It has already been a hectic month for followers of Leinster Rugby Club, with the team playing three times in two competitions.

Their results from that three-game period show a clean sweep of victories, beating Leicester Tigers and Toulouse in this competition before downing Munster in the United Rugby Championship.

Leinster have won every match that they have played in this competition this season. Due to COVID issues, they were handed a 28-0 loss for their scheduled second pool stage match against Montpellier, who they throttled 89-7 when the teams did eventually meet in Dublin in January.

The closest result in the seven matches in which they played–and won–is a 26-21 win at Connacht in the first leg of their round of 16 tie.

La Rochelle hoping to go one step further

La Rochelle fans came agonisingly close to seeing their team win a first European title when ending as runners up last season behind Toulouse.

They entered that all-French rugby final as the underdogs against their far more experienced opponents – as is the case here – but performed better than expected.

That match ended in victory for Toulouse at Twickenham Stadium in London 12 months ago in front of a crowd that was capped at 10,000 due to COVID-19 measures.

The beaten side battled hard before going down by just five points. Followers will want to see more of that fighting spirit.

Last five results for La Rochelle

  • Top 14 vs. Stade Francais: Won 32-13
  • European Rugby Champions Cup SF at Racing 92: Won 20-13
  • European Rugby Champions Cup QF vs. Montpellier: Won 31-19
  • Top 14 at Toulouse: Lost 23-16
  • Top 14 vs. Perpignan: Won 32-16

La Rochelle are here on merit, weren’t out-classed last year against European rugby’s most decorated club and will believe they can win their first trophy.

La Rochelle have had no problems scoring points during their run to the deciding match, with more than 30 points chalked up in three of their four games in the knockout stages.

The spare was a narrow 20-13 win over Racing 92, but with that coming in a tense semi-final, we must take that into consideration.

They scored three tries in that semi-final win and also notched a treble in the game before when hammering Montpellier.

Lowe & van der Flier can change the game for Leinster

Big games require big players to stand up and be counted, but who are the names to watch out for in this weekend’s European Champions Cup final?

Both teams are filled with individual talent, capable of winning this match, but we’re looking for the cream of the crop.

Finals are won and lost on the smallest of margins, so who will make the headlines at full-time? We look back at some recent results in the hope of uncovering a clue.

Two names from the Leinster team stand out when flicking through their team’s most recent results. In the Irish team’s last three games, we have seen two tries each for winger James Lowe – both scored in the same match – and star of the back row Josh van der Flier.

If both players are fit to start, they will feature heavily in the outcome of this match. At FanDuel, Lowe is +125 to touch down inside 80 minutes, while van der Flier is +210 to bag a try.

Should we expect a high-scoring final in Marseille?

Leinster have also been in scoring form, racking up almost 100 points in three matches while conceding 56. Another entertaining match is expected in the final as Leinster are expected to adopt their usual gung-ho style of rugby.

They scored a memorable win over Toulouse in the semi-finals when whacking the French side by 40 points to 17.

That encourages us to stick with our plans for a high-scoring final, and there’s more to be taken from previous finals.

The last three European Champions Cup finals have produced 39 points, 58 points and 30 points. Armchair fans hope this renewal falls into line and serves up another dramatic match filled with tries and points.

With how dominant Leinster have been in this competition all season, it’s hard to see anything other than a comfortable win in Marseille for the favourites. It will be a disappointment for La Rochelle to fall at the final hurdle for the second straight year, but there is no shame in losing to a side this good.

Leinster vs. La Rochelle Betting Tip #1 – Over 44.5 points (-108 at FanDuel)

Leinster vs. La Rochelle Betting Tip #2 – Leinster -10.5 (-118 at FanDuel)

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