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P.J. Murray 20th May 2011 - 14:54

Leinster to end Saints winning streak

The Heineken Cup final promises to be a captivating affair as the best two teams of 2011 go head to head in the Millenium Stadium.

Northampton are vying to be the first team ever to go unbeaten in an elite competition, which given the fact that only three years ago they were competing in the Championship is quite a feat.

Coincidentally while Northampton were dragging themselves out of the Championship in 2008, Leinster were taking centre stage at Murrayfield when the Irish side beat Leicester Tigers to claim their first ever Heineken Cup trophy.

The latest odds suggest that Leinster are in the driving seat for the Heineken Cup at 4/11 with Northampton 12/5, whilst the handicap is at +6 for Northampton. Both teams have excellent back lines , many of whom were the stars of the six nations, Hills offer 5/6 that there are four or more tries, 8/1 that it is the highest scoring final in the competition history, the highest score coming in 2000 when 64 points were scored.

Despite being only six points favourites, Leinster will find that Northampton are no pushovers with a massive pack that includes the monstrous Soane Tonga'uiha. However the Saints have already been dealt a blow with the loss of the experienced Tom Wood.

"As long as the occasion does not get to them, we think this has the potential of being the match of the year and fully expect a fast paced game with lots of tries and therefore points on the board!" said Hill's spokesman Rupert Adams.

Leinster have the designation as the home side, and with the masses of travelling fans then they have the potential to make the Millenium Stadium feel more like the Aviva. Les Blues are a 9/2 to win by a margin on 6-10 points.

Both sides have named unchanged teams from their respective semi-final wins. Leinster are boosted by the news that Brian O'Driscoll has recovered in time and he will partner Gordon D'Arcy. The talismanic BOD is 12/1 to lead by example and score the first try of the match. He can also be backed at 9/4 to go over at anytime during the game.

Chris Ashton has been in sensational form all season, his signature move, the swan dive has been on show quite a lot and he is 10/1 to score the first try of the match. Ashton is also 15/8 to score at anytime.

With a good start so important in games like this, Leinster will be attempting to go off at a very fast pace and you can back them to win the first half at 8/13 in our half time market.

Leinster have put up some big scores this season and win lose or draw in this game you can back them to score over 23 points at 23/20.

The Irish side have experience on their side, and with a golden-era beginning to come to an end the older heads on the team will want to go out on a high. I would be backing Leinster to win -6 and also Chris Ashton to score at anytime.


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