Stuart Lancaster is backing Leinster’s attacking power to potentially prove decisive in Saturday’s Champions Cup showdown versus Saracens in Newcastle.
Leinster enter the decider having taken the European title last May from the London club who had been double champions in 2016 and 2017. They now aim to mirror the English team’s achievement by delivering a double of their own and successfully follow up their title win over Racing 12 months ago.
“In attack, Saracens have really improved the quality of their starter plays,” said Lancaster to Irish media in the run-up to the St James’ Park decider.
“They have got the ability to play a power game, and with two ball players – at least two, but two very, very good players like Owen Farrell and Alex Goode – they can kill you in the unstructured part of the game as well.
“So you can see by the way they played how well coached and well organised they are. You’ve got to be good at everything, we’ve got to be able to defend their threats. Obviously the aerial threat, but equally we have to impose a Leinster game on to their defence as well.
The trophy lies waiting for someone to come and claim it ?
But when they build the phases and slowly build pressure ? they're the best in the business ?
Who will be their key man ? ? pic.twitter.com/YDUhIx6UWP
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) May 6, 2019
“You talk about the quality of Saracens; we have scored the most tries in the pools over the last three years, we have scored the most tries in the PRO14. You know, we’d back our attack as well. It’s the two best teams in the final. We’re a good attacking team, they’re a good attacking team.
“It’s the biggest game of the season without a doubt, by a country mile. It’s the Champions Cup final and it’s the two best teams in the final. Saracens have won all their pool games, two great quarter-final, semi-final wins.
“I remember we did the same last year, and it came down to 78 minutes 30 seconds when we took the lead in the final, so what happens prior to the final, it’s not irrelevant, but it’s what happens on the day that will ultimately decide it.”
— Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) May 6, 2019
WATCH: The RugbyPass documentary on the 2018 PRO14 final won by Leinster
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