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Leicester Tigers player ratings vs Leinster | Investec Champions Cup 2023/24

By Josh Raisey
Freddie Steward of Leicester Tigers reacts during the Investec Champions Cup Round of 16 match between Leinster and Leicester Tigers at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Player ratings: Leicester Tigers will come away from Dublin following their 36-22 loss to Leinster feeling they could have done more.

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The team cannot be faulted for their effort, but their execution is what let them down at times in a game where they matched the four-time Investec Champions Cup winners in many departments.

There were many positives to take from the game though and some strong performances to go with it. So here’s how the players rated:

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Starting XV
15 Jamie Shillcock – 6
Poses a different threat to Freddie Steward in the No15 jersey, and troubled Leinster’s defence frequently throughout the match.

14 Freddie Steward – 5
Solid as ever, although he did drop his annual high ball which is as rare a sight as you will see in rugby.

Match Summary

1
Penalty Goals
1
5
Tries
3
4
Conversions
2
0
Drop Goals
0
79
Carries
108
9
Line Breaks
6
12
Turnovers Lost
9
3
Turnovers Won
3

13 Dan Kelly – 5
Assisted Handre Pollard’s early try with an offload in contact, unfortunately, assisted Robbie Henshaw’s second-half interception too, which was decisive as Leicester had the momentum at the time.

12 Solomone Kata – 4
Didn’t manage to make the kind of damage to the Leinster defensive line as he would have desired.

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11 Ollie Hassell-Collins – 5
Carved through the Leinster defence in the second 40 before producing an aimless pass which typified how Leicester shot themselves in the foot at times.

10 Handré Pollard – 5
A mixed bag from the World Cup winner. Took his try well, but defence was shaky at times.

9 Jack van Poortvliet – 6
Good service and tactical kicking were a key part of the No9’s game, but Leicester couldn’t capitalise on the opportunities he helped create.

1 James Cronin – 8.5
Cronin was exceptional, anchoring the scrum with skill and strength that made a significant difference against Leinster. He was everywhere, contributing in open play with carries, tackles and added a try to his haul.

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2 Julián Montoya – 6
Strong lineout display and got around the park well.

3 Dan Cole – 7
 Stood toe to toe with what is Ireland’s favoured front row.

4 Harry Wells – 6
Big defensive effort from the big man, who needed to assert himself with Olly Chessum and George Martin not playing.

5 Kyle Hatherell – 5
Displayed athleticism and a good work rate, challenging Leinster’s defence on several occasions. 

6 Hanro Liebenberg – 8
Did well at slowing Leinster’s ball down at the breakdown. Massive contribution forcing Jack Conan to knock-on while barrelling over the try line in the second half. Dominated the airways with Leinster’s lineout.

7 Olly Cracknell – 7.5
A real No7’s performance. Tackled relentlessly and busy at the breakdown- which is needed against wave after wave of Leinster attacks.

8 Jasper Wiese – 6.5
A typical Jasper Wiese performance – lots of carries and lots of metres – albeit an ill-disciplined display.

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Replacements
16 Charlie Clare – 6
Bagged one of the easiest tries of his career in his short stint.

17 Francois van Wyk – 4
Couldn’t replicate the superb display his predecessor Cronin produced. Was caught isolated in Conan’s try, as he couldn’t make it to tackle Ryan Baird.

18 Will Hurd – 4
Struggled against Cian Healy after coming on.

19 Finn Carnduff – N/A

20 Emeka Ilione – N/A

21 Tom Whiteley – 5
Bit of a lost cause coming on when he did.

22 Phil Cokanasiga – N/A

23 Mike Brown – N/A

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J
Jon 1 days ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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