Jackman: Bulls aren’t all that

Former Ireland hooker Bernard Jackman says there is no excuse for the “best team on paper” Leinster to lose Saturday’s Vodacom URC semi-final against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.

Leinster overcame Ulster with relative ease to set up a Vodacom URC semi-final clash at altitude against the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.

It will be the first time that Leinster will travel down to South Africa with a full-strength squad, having previously rested their Irish internationals to target the Champions Cup.

Speaking during the 42.ie’s Rugby Weekly podcast, Jackman, who played 91 games for Leinster and nine Tests for Ireland, said Leo Cullen’s side should be considered big favourites against the hosts, who gritted out a win against Benetton in the quarter-finals.

“If Leinster lose to the Bulls, it’s a big, big failure on their part,” Jackman said.

“The Bulls aren’t all that,” Jackman added. “Munster have gone down there and beat them. Benetton made them look very average, there’s too many flaws in their performance. I haven’t been overly impressed by them.

“Look it, Leinster have to build it up as being an incredible expedition to get to Pretoria and the challenge of getting back, but I think there’s no excuse here. You have the best team in the URC on paper, you have the most internationals and you’ve been able to rest them during the year as best you can, so there’s no distractions.

“It’s obviously a contest, I accept that the travel and the home crowd make it harder for Leinster but I think they will win by more than four points . . . I think Leinster will do a job on them. Leinster unfortunately have cracked under similar circumstances so there’s a doubt there but I don’t think the Bulls are as good as Toulouse or La Rochelle potentially could be. Leinster should be able to win this one.”

Photo: Harry Murphy/Gallo Images

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