Our event of the day is the European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final between Leinster and Ulster at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. An inter-provincial clash between two of Ireland’s oldest sides, they will both fight to progress in European rugby’s top club tournament. Leinster have not lost a knockout match in almost two years while Ulster look for their first semi-final appearance since the 2011-12 competition. This is one match you won’t want to miss. Leinster may be the best rugby club in Europe right now and they will take the field in Dublin eager to validate that assertion. They won their pool in the group stage with a 5-1 record, their loss only coming in the form of a 28-27 match against Toulouse. Veteran hooker Sean Cronin, who has played for Leinster since 2011, is the competition’s joint top-scorer with six tries. Tonight, they face Ulster.
Ulster finished second place in their pool during the group stage. Despite going 5-1, they finished second due to the bonus points accumulated by pool winner Racing 92. They beat the French side 26-22 but the two bonus points that Racing took away from that match would help them win the group. However, despite this disappointment, Ulster have been a strong side in this competition. 22-year-old Jacob Stockdale is the competition’s joint top-scorer with six tries. Leinster and Ulster first played in 1875 and since then, they have played 97 competitive matches. Leinster have won 56 of those matches, including the 2012 Heineken Cup. Leinster have also won 10 of the last 15 matches between the two sides. The Irish champions also have the luxury of being able to focus on the European tournament, given that they have already qualified for the Pro14 playoffs in dominant fashion. Leinster, the defending champions in this tournament, have not lost a knockout round match in almost two years. This will be an uphill battle for Ulster. Looking past this match, the winner will face either Racing 92 or Toulouse. Both sides will come into this match desperate for the win so be sure you don’t miss it.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Premier League, where Burnley host Wolves at Turf Moor. 17th place Burnley, with one win in their last five matches, need to win in order to put a comfortable points buffer between them and the relegation zone. Meanwhile, 7th place Wolves will hope that a win can put some points between them and 8th place Watford. Wolves are having an excellent season and will want to maintaintgeir great form. It is sure to be an exciting match in Burnley. Elsewhere, in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, the Elite Eight begins. At the Honda Center in Anaheim, western 1st seed Gonzaga faces western 3rd seed Texas Tech. At the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, southern 1st seed Virginia takes on southern 3rd seed Purdue. At the WGC Match Play in Austin, the first knockout round and quarter-finals take place today. In horse racing, the Dubai World Cup takes place at the Meydan Racecourse. In the NHL, the Vancouver Canucks host the Montreal Canadiens at Bell MTS Place. The women’s final of the Miami Open takes place at the Hard Rock Stadium with Ashleigh Barty facing Karolína Plíšková.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by European Rugby Champions Cup
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