A Lot Of People Are P**sed Off With The Leinster Vs Scarlets Champions Cup Semi-Final
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Leinster joined Scarlets, Munster and Racing in the last four of the Champions Cup yesterday evening, with a dominant win over holders Saracens at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Munster and Racing will meet each other for the third time in Europe this year in their semi in Bordeaux, while Scarlets and Leinster will clash in the other semi-final, at errr, the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
The venues were decided based on a number of principles. If you win an away quarter final, you’re awarded with a home country semi-final. Hence why Racing were awarded with one, despite Munster finishing above them in the seedings.
But the game is on in Bordeaux, 550 miles from Racing’s home in Paris. So it’s pretty neutral, especially considering Munster will still probably end up with a better travelling support. Leinster and Scarlets meanwhile, comes down to seedings, as both won home games in the quarter finals.
The issue though, that is pissing a lot of people off, Scarlets fans in particular, is that Leinster get to play in the Aviva, as technically it is a ‘neutral’ venue, as it is not Leinster’s actual home ground, the RDS is. Even though Leinster have already played a number of games at the Aviva this year, including their quarter final with Saracens and a pool clash with Exeter.
Croke Park is the only other venue capable in Ireland of hosting a European semi-final, and trying to get a slot there isn’t easy, so the Aviva is really the only option. Does it give Leinster an unfair advantage? Some people seem to think so.
So, it's Leinster v Scarlets at the Aviva Stadium . How's that working as a neutral venue, then?
— Owain Jones (@OwainJTJones) April 1, 2018
So, Leinster and Scarlets both win groups, both won home q-fs but semi is at Aviva. Not fair. A major flaw in credibility of the Champions Cup.
— Delme Parfitt (@delmeparfitt) April 1, 2018
If Aviva was ‘home’ ground for @leinsterrugby game with Saracens, how can it be a ‘neutral’ venue for the semi-final with @scarlets_rugby ? @ChampionsCup organisers need to consider and justify. @BBCScrumV
— Hywel Wyn Jones (@hywel_wyn) April 2, 2018
Ah yes, the old home country advantage in a neutral venue unless you’re Leinster chestnut. How convenient. Not that they’ll need it! #LEIvSAR
— Aedín (@minisandmum) April 1, 2018
I know a few have posted already but bonkers that Leinster can play a home Quarter Final at the Aviva, and then the semi final, which is supposed to be played on a "neutral" ground in Ireland, gets played at…..The Aviva. Nothing neutral about that
— Matthew Lloyd (@statto10) April 1, 2018
To be fair…. We don’t think Scarlets will be making any excuses. They’ve been to the Aviva and they’ve defeated Irish provinces their in the past. But something tells us we have’t heard the last of this regardless..