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Dublin: 8 °C Sunday 22 April, 2018

Here's how the French papers reacted to Leinster's win yesterday

L’Equipe were not happy with Wayne Barnes’ performance, while Le Figaro suggested that the visitors deserved their victory.

Leinster triumphed by the slimmest of margins yesterday.
Leinster triumphed by the slimmest of margins yesterday.

L’EQUIPE WERE NOT happy following Leinster’s thrilling defeat of Clermont Auvergne yesterday.

The paper suggested that the performance of English referee Wayne Barnes left much to be desired, arguing that “Benjamin Kayser could have spent the afternoon trying to understand the interpretations of English referee”.

The paper added that the agonising manner in which Clermont lost the game represented “a cruel fate” for the French side.

Meanwhile, France Soir somewhat harshly branded Clermont “the eternal losers in French rugby” following yesterday’s match, but at least conceded that the club are “close” to being good enough to win the European Cup.

In addition, Le Figaro praised Rob Kearney’s “masterful” 40-metre drop goal. The paper also singled out “O’Driscoll, Sexton and O’Brien” for praise and described Leinster as a “great team” who “deserve their qualification”.

They finished the article with the words of Julien Bonnaire, who simply stated: “We must continue to grow.”

Metro focused on how Leinster seemingly hold the Indian sign over Clermont. They also suggested that the talent of Jonathan Sexton and the “experience and power of the Leinster bench” were two key components of their victory.

They added, somewhat contentiously, that Leinster will meet “the Northern Irish of Ulster” in the final.

Finally, The Independent bemoaned the French side’s “bad luck” in losing Julien Malzieu and Lee Byrne early on.

They also pointed to the strength of Leinster’s bench and their considerable experience in the competition as reasons behind their victory, while hinting that Wayne Barnes had a part to play in it too – a common complaint, it seems.

Read: Magnificent Kearney sets up Heineken Cup clash of the Irish>

Read: Off the record: sports stories you might have missed this weekend>

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Paul Fennessy

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