Leinster captain Caelan Doris hails ‘unbelievable’ star after Champions Cup win over La Rochelle

Adam Kyriacou
Jamison Gibson-Park after scoring for Leinster against La Rochelle.

Jamison Gibson-Park after scoring for Leinster against La Rochelle.

Leinster captain Caelan Doris has labelled scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park “unbelievable” after he steered the side into the Investec Champions Cup semi-finals.

The Ireland back-row was full of praise for his number nine who has been in sparkling form in recent weeks, scoring tries for fun as Leinster hit their straps in Europe.

An emphatic 40-13 victory over reigning champions La Rochelle was Leinster‘s latest success story and Gibson-Park was among the scorers again at the Aviva Stadium.

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Wing James Lowe (2), blindside flanker Ryan Baird and hooker Dan Sheehan also scored tries, while fly-half Ross Byrne kicked three conversions and three penalties.

But Doris singled out scrum-half Gibson-Park for special praise after he backed up a recent hat-trick against Leicester with another complete showing in the blue jersey.

“Jamison is unbelievable. He is a joy to play with,” he told TNT Sports.

Leinster player ratings: James Lowe’s five try involvements and ‘sensational’ Jamison Gibson-Park sinks Champions Cup holders

“He keeps the tempo so high and he is so unpredictable but plays within our plan at the same time. The boys are all about running lines off him.

While their attacking play was top drawer, Leinster’s defence was also hugely impressive and Doris was delighted with their performance in that facet on on Saturday.

“I think it was a great defensive display,” he added.

“You saw some of the shots that went in on some of their key ball-carriers, who have given good go-forward for them over the last couple of years, so it went a long way towards that performance.”

The victory in Dublin ended La Rochelle’s hopes of a three-peat success in Europe and after falling to Ronan O’Gara’s side in the last two finals, Doris admits it was pleasing to finally come out on top against the French outfit.

A great feeling

“It’s a great feeling,” he said. “We have massive respect for them as a group of players and a team.

“We’ve had some immense battles against them over the last number of years and it is very pleasing to finally put in a performance like that and get a result like that.”

He added: “It is a very rare opportunity to play at Croke Park in front of our own fans. What an exciting prospect, and we are looking forward to it massively.”

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