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Friday, 10 May 2013

Rabo Pro12/Amlin Challenge in the RDS, heineken cup final 2013

Rugby fever kicks off with the Rabo Pro12/Amlin Challenge in the RDS, a Rugby treat in the run up to next week’s Heineken Cup Final at Aviva Stadium, two tickets to WIN for the Heineken Cup Final this evening 11th May in Lansdowne Hotel at 10.30pm.

For the fourth year running Leinster have earned themselves a home semi-final and for the fourth year running they aim to reach the final.

Victory this evening would thus leave them two RDS finals short of a Rabo Pro12/Amlin Challenge Cup double, but having painfully lost the last three league deciders, one ventures this is the trophy they would most covet.

As usual, Leinster have hit form in the second half of the campaign, winning all but one of their 15 games since losing at Ravenhill before Christmas, reminding us of their attacking quality in more typically end-of-season conditions against Biarritz a fortnight ago, and reminding them and us of what might have been had they taken a draw from their trip to Clermont.

Back at something resembling optimum strength on foot of Joe Schmidt making nine changes from the team which beat the Ospreys a week ago (with Seán O’Brien a doubt due to the calf strain he picked up last week) the bookies make Leinster 10-point favourites.

Won only once

The Warriors have won only once in nine previous league and European visits to the RDS and, indeed, just once in 15 visits to Dublin; a 23-19 win during the World Cup window last September.

Nonetheless, on closer examination this could be much closer than that. This being a reprise of last season’s league semi-final here, as well as being drawn in the same Heineken Cup pool last term, the sides will thus be meeting for an eighth time in two seasons, and familiarity has bred increasing competitiveness.

Except for one handsome Leinster win here in the cup, there has never been more than a score in it. Glasgow outscored Leinster two tries to one and came within a forward pass of beating themhere in March, when the home side were indebted to a virtuoso, 22-point performance by Ian Madigan.

But perhaps the most relevant yardstick is last season’s semi-final, when Leinster were hard-pressed to come through 19-15.

Glasgow also arrive in form, with eight wins from their last 10 Pro12 games, and are also locked and, more or less, fully loaded. Gregor Townsend has made seven changes and one positional switch to the side which beat Connacht 20-3 in Galway last week, with Peter Horne moving from inside centre to outhalf and Ruaridh Jackson dropping to the bench.

Alex Dunbar comes in for Horne, with the Lions duo of Stuart Hogg and Sean Maitland, along with their ultra dangerous Player of the Year, Fijian scrumhalf Niko Matawalu, big-carrying number eight Josh Strauss, captain Al Kellock and Scottish loosehead Ryan Grant all back in.


“Leinster have set the benchmark in European rugby for the last three or four seasons and we are under no illusions as to the size of the challenge that awaits us in Dublin,” said Townsend.
“Winning in Galway has created vital momentum for us after our home victory against the Ospreys.

“We narrowly lost to Leinster in March but we were pleased with a number of aspects of our game that night,” he added.

“We’ve improved since then and we’re really looking forward to another opportunity to play at the RDS.”

Scanning through their team, from the sniping breaks of Matawalu to the speed and opportunism of their Lions duo and all-time record try-scorer DTH van der Merwe on the wing, one can well understand why they arrive here as the highest try scorers in the league with 66.

Leinster struggled to recycle the ball quickly in last season’s semi-final and the meeting in March, and Connacht management and players alike describe Glasgow as the best breakdown team they have faced all season, quickly on to the ball and hard to shift off it.

With forecasts suggesting rain, conditions will not be as idyllic as they were for the Biarritz game, and as Joe Schmidt admitted “I don’t think they’re a good team to get. We’ve managed to get a couple of skinny victories over them so far and they’ll come here reasonably confident.”

Yet the value of getting down and dirty in the middle of the season is amply illustrated by that 6-0 win in Scotstoun during the November Test window, thanks to which Leinster are at home tonight.

With their own quotient of six Lions in harness, if O’Brien is passed fit, and with Jonny Sexton refreshed, relaxed and on a mission, they should just have enough fire-power.

Heineken Cup Final 2013, Rugby Ireland, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Hotel, Heineken Cup Final tickets

Calling all Rugby Fans, The Lansdowne Hotel in Ballsbridge has 2 Tickets for The Heineken Cup Final: To enter join us for a drink in The Den Rugby Bar on Saturday 11th May where the draw will take place at 10.30pm. Please LIKE and SHARE on Facebook:

Appel à tous les fans de rugby, The Lansdowne Hôtel à Ballsbridge dispose de 2 billets pour la Coupe Heineken final: Pour entrer joindre à nous pour boire un verre dans The Den Bar Rugby le samedi 11 mai, où le tirage au sort aura lieu à 22h30. S'il vous plaît apprécier et partager:

Un grand bonjour depuis l’hotel Lansdowne de Dublin, Irlande

Felicitations pour votre qualification en finale de la coupe de rugby Heineken!

Nous organisons un grand evebement en plein air juste a cote de stade Aviva et nous serions heureux que vous vous joiginez a nous!

Nous vous proposerons dupuis la terrasse de l’hotel situee a 5 minutes a pied du stade Aviva,les attractions suivantes:

·         ECRANS TV

Nous organisons deja un dejeuner pour 2 groupes francais,et serions ravis de vous recevoir si cela vous convenait !

Si vous souhaitez reserver pour votre groupe,merci de me contacter directment Helen Quinn a l’adresse suivante:

Dans l’attente d’avoir de vos nouvelles!

Bien cordialement,

The Lansdowne Hotel
27/29 Pembroke Road
Dublin 4

Tel:  +353 1 6682522
Fax: +353 1 6685585
E Mail:

ASM Clermont Auvergne mars

Mars à Aviva est sur ...... vous font considérer votre point de départ pourtant dans Ballsbridge ?
Nous serions fiers d'aider des défenseurs de Clermont dans leur marche à Aviva.

Commencez par apprécier une pinte dans notre barre de rugby de repaire et finissez votre dos de soirée avec nous

Nous vous proposerons dupuis la terrasse de l’hotel situee a 5 minutes a pied du stade Aviva,les attractions suivantes:

Heineken Cup Final 2013 - News

Irish referee Alain Rolland will take charge of this year’s all-French Heineken Cup final when ASM Clermont Auvergne take on Toulon at Aviva Stadium on 18 May.

Rolland will be refereeing his second Heineken Cup final - having taken charge of the 2004 decider between London Wasps and Toulouse – and his 72nd tournament match, which eclipses his compatriot Alan Lewis’ old mark of 71.

And Rolland has refereed seven European fixtures this season including last month’s Heineken Cup semi-final between Saracens and Toulon.

His assistant referees for the 2013 final will be Wayne Barnes (England) and George Clancy (Ireland).

Nigel Owens will officiate at the Amlin Challenge final on 17 May where Leinster take on Stade Francais at the RDS.

Both officials will be fitted with the Ref Cam device, which will enable television viewers to avail of innovative close-quarter footage from the referee’s perspective.

Lansdowne Hotel Home to International Rugby Fans

Set in the heart of Georgian Dublin, we are just a short stroll from the Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road stadium), the RDS and Dublin city's main shopping and business district.

Dublin is fast becoming one of Europe's favourite capital cities to visit - that blend of old and new that is apparent everywhere, the youthful vibrant population, the broad range of sights and services on offer and of course the friendliness of the locals, are all part of the appeal of Dublin.


The Lansdowne Hotel is a small and friendly family owned Hotel with 40 en-suite bedrooms including two suites and two executive rooms. All rooms are tastefully designed, bright and spacious with warm furnishings to help insure our guests have a relaxing and restful night’s sleep. All rooms are equipped with hairdryers, cable TV, free wi-fi, direct dial telephone, tea/coffee making facilities, writing desk, table and chairs. Irons and ironing boards are available on request.

Guests can choose from a variety of rooms. Double bedded rooms, single rooms, double and single bedded which are inter-connecting, and twin rooms.

Druid's Restaurant

Celtic mouldings and fine tapestries from the Book of Kells adorn the walls. The imaginative use of specially designed lighting creates the perfect atmosphere.

Druids Restaurant serves breakfast each morning Monday to Friday 7.30am to 10am. Breakfasts are cooked to order from fresh produce sourced daily.

Saturday/Sunday 8am - 10.30am

Also available for Private Parties and Meetings

The Den Bar

Downstairs at the Lansdowne Hotel Dublin you will find one of Dublin's finest drinking emporiums "The Den Bar". Relax and enjoy a drink of your choice or choose from our bar food menu while savouring the atmosphere of this exciting meeting place - popular with business people and tourists alike. 'The Den' features a unique collection of sports memorabilia of interest to sport enthusiasts particularly the rugby fraternity. We are proud to present the biggest rugby tie collection in the world. The Den Bar serves carvery lunch daily and for the late weekend risers we have brunch on Saturday's and Sunday's.

Thursday have live music with the Thatched Cottage in the Bar and Traditional Musicians - Craic Agus Ceol.

There is a FAB FRIDAY promotion running where the Carvery is €5.00.

Bar Food Dinner Menu
Served from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.


Homemade soup of the day, served with brown bread €3.50

Tasty Vegetable & Beef Spring Rolls on Mixed Leaves, Sweet Chilli Dip  €5.50

Golden crisp salmon cake with rocket leaves, pesto mayo €5.50

Spicy chicken wings € 5.50

Basket of chips with: Cocktail Sausages €6.00 or Chicken wings €7.50 or  Scampi €7.50 or Chicken Goujons €7.00                       

TASTY SNACKS : (all served with pesto, mayo, sweet chilli dip)
Nachos with melted cheese €3.50
Potato wedges €3.50
BBQ Baby ribs €6.00


Grilled pork & leek sausages,
chive mash and rich gravy €10.95

Den Tower Burger, Fillet of Chicken or Beef Burger topped with tomato, fresh onions, Crispy Bacon, melted cheddar & Garlic Mayo €10.95

Grilled Fillet of Salmon, with fresh herb couscous, ratatouille & lemon butter €10.95

Pan Seared Rib Eye Steak (8oz) with Caramelized Onions, mushrooms served with Chips and pepper sauce €14.50

The Den salad, grilled BBQ0 Chicken fillet, seasonal leaves, roasted cashew nuts, sliced peppers & balsamic dressing €8.00

Stir fried noodles with king prawns, vegetable, soy sauce & ginger €8.00

Tex-Mex Enchiladas, juicy Chili Minced Beef Wrapped in Tortilla with Melted Cheddar Sour Cream, Salad & Chips €10.95

Toasted steak sandwich with fried onions, tomato relish & melted cheese €8.50

SIDES:  Buttered Vegetables €2.50
Portion of Chips €2.50
Mixed Leaf Salad   €2.50

All served with fresh Cream or Ice Cream

Warm Apple pie €3.50

Baileys Cheese Cake, toffee sauce €3.50

Warm chocolate Brownie €3.50