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Sunday 1st April 2018

Event of the Day

Our event of the day is the European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final clash between Leinster and Saracens at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Leinster were the best team in the pool stages and qualified for the quarter-finals ranked as number one after topping Pool 3 with 27 points, winning all six of their matches. Saracens, on the other side, squeezed through to the last eight as runner-up in Pool 2, with 18 points in total and behind Clermont. However, Sarries are defending champions, having won back-to-back titles in the last two seasons. Previously, they reached the final in 2013-14, but lost to Toulon. Leinster Rugby have also had three final appearances and triumphed each time – in 2009, 2011 and 2012. This leaves them one trophy behind Toulouse, the most successful team with four Champions Cup victories.

The winner of this tie will matchup with Scarlets in the semi-final after the Welsh side eliminated La Rochelle on Friday in a 29-17 win. Leinster and Saracens have met only twice in the past, with the Irish side coming out on top both times – 25-23 in London in October 2010 and 43-20 in Dublin in January 2011, both in the pool stage of the competition. The hosts have won all their home games in Dublin this season in all competitions. The leading scorer of the competition with 81 points, fly-half Owen Farrell, comes back from injury to start for the visitors. We can expect a dramatic clash of two rugby giants at the Aviva Stadium.

Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Premier League match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea head into the London derby with 56 points and are in fifth place, five less than Spurs in fourth position, who are currently in the final Champions League qualifying spot. Tottenham are unbeaten in their last 12 Premier League games. It’s the final day of the ATP World Tour and WTA World Tour Miami Open at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne, Florida. In the men’s singles final, Alexander Zverev of Germany faces home player John Isner; while in the women’s doubles final, Ashleigh Barty and CoCo Vandeweghe play against the Czech pair of Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková. The pick of the NBA matches are the encounters between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Utah Jazz at the Target Center in Minneapolis, as well as the New Orleans Pelicans and the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. It’s Day 3 of the 4th and final match of the Test series between South Africa and Australia at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg; and Day 3 of the 2nd Test between New Zealand and England at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch. In the NHL, the Philadelphia Flyers take on the Boston Bruins at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. It’s the final day of the Houston Open at the Golf Club of Houston in Humble.

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!

Fixture

Photos by Saracens; Leinster Rugby

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