Freakish Eben Etzebeth stats and other European semi-final feats


The European semi-finals in both the Investec Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup provided a plethora of impressive stats for fans to look at.

Players from all four matches performed admirably – with several records falling over the weekend.

Leinster and Stade Toulousan, the two most successful teams in the history of the Heineken Cup, will face off in their eighth final at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on May 25.

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The two teams secured their places after winning both semi-final matches at home.

For the Leinster semi-final against Northampton Saints at Croke Park, attendance reached a record high of 82,300 – surpassing the previous record of 82,208 set at the same venue in 2009.

The total attendance for the Croke Park and Lowe Stadium semi-finals reached 114,794 – the second highest in the tournament's history – behind only the total of 126,420 from 2009.

Combinations

Investec Champions Cup

Leinster

Northampton

Leinster freewheeler Cian Healy made history by setting a new record for the most appearances by any player in the Championship, marking his 111th cap and surpassing Munster's Ronan O'Gara.

James Lowe also left his mark. The New Zealand-born winger became the first player to score three tries in a European Champions Cup semi-final.

Northampton's Juarno Augustus led his group's efforts with five dominant drives, beating five defenders, making two clean breaks and a dominant save and winning a turnover against Leinster.

Harlequins' Chandler Cunningham-South and Andre Esterhuizen recorded the most post-contact counters in the semi-finals with 31 and 27 respectively. Esterhuizen also beat six defenders.

French star Antoine Dupont was the only full-back to win two semi-finals. His teammate Thibaut Flament also won two of them.

Leinster's Jamison Gibson Park was on Dupont's heels. The fullback saved five kicks – the most in this round – made two attempts and had a turnover.

In the Challenge Cup, the Hollywoodbets Sharks made history as the first South African club to qualify for the EPCR final, while Gloucester secured their fifth final appearance.

Glaws previously won the competition in 2006 and 2015. The Challenge Cup winner will automatically qualify for the 2024/25 Investec Champions Cup.

Ibn Etzebeth in particular stood out. The Springbok lock made as many dominant moves as any other player in the semi-finals (six). He also beat four defenders, made two clean breaks, made two tackles, and won a turnover.

Challenge Cup Champions Cup

Teammate Siya Masuku scored 22 points against ASM Clermont Auvergne to maintain his impeccable kicking record.

ASM Clermont Auvergne's Joris Jurand made four clean breaks and beat seven defenders.

Gloucester's Caolan Inglefield has taken 17 kicks in play, gaining 565 kicking metres.

Another great individual performance was by Gianmarco Lucchesi. The sub scored two tries off the bench for Benetton.





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