Heineken Cup Final
All the latest from Twickenham, constantly updated throughout the day.
Still a few rumours swirling around Twickenham that the teams, as announced yesterday, might be altered. Leinster, in particular.
— Ciarán Ó Raghallaigh (@Ciaran_O) May 19, 2012
Very odd choice of soundtrack in this Ulster fans round-up of their line-up today..
Leinster have arrived with their game face on.
Via Stephen O’Leary, here is the walk up to the stadium. We are fifteen minutes away…
Five minutes away…Sky have done their dramatic intro, the Ulster flags are flying, the Leinster jerseys are out in force and yes, there are one or two Munster Jerseys for some reason.
This man is trying to become the first player ever to win World Cup, Super rugby and Heineken Cup winners medals. He is also the oldest player to play in a Heineken Cup final.
5:07 : A Ruan Pienaar penalty has given Ulster a deserved 3-0 lead. They have dominated possession and territory in the opening few minutes.
5:12 : Leinster respond as only they can. Sean O’Brien sneaks over the try-line and after consulting the TMO, Nigel Owens awards the try. Sexton converts. 7-3 Leinster.
5:24: It’s just like watching the All Blacks. Both sides are throwing the ball around. Eoin Reddan nearly got in after a sublime Leinster move but Ulster’s scrambled defence got there. Drico is starting to make an impact…
5:28 : Paddy Jackson has struggled so far. His first kick out of hand went out on the full and he has thrown some wild passes.
5:31: TRY. A storming break from Sean O’Brien opens up Ulster and Cian Healy pushes over from two yards. After weathering a blistering Ulster start, the champions are now dominating. 14-3 Leinster.
5:40: It’s half-time and Leinster lead 14-6. A superb kick from Ruan Pienaar has given Ulster some hope but Leinster look very comfortable.
Here is Sean O’Brien’s try that lead Nigel Owens to call on the TMO.
6:06 : We’re back underway. There was some talk in the Sky studio of Paddy Jackson being replaced but there are no changes to either side.
6:07 : Has anyone ever mentioned that John Afoa has good feet for a big lad? They have haven’t they?
6:09: TRY. Penalty try for Leinster. Game over? After a mix up between Stephen Ferris and Paddy Jackson concedes possession, Leinster get their maul going and rumble over. Jackson has been replaced. A harsh lesson from the youngster but one which the like of ROG for one recovered from. 21-6 Leinster.
6:16: A penalty from Ruan Pienaar gives Ulster the faintest sniff of hope. 21-9.
6:19: A penalty from Jonny Sexton immediatley restores Leinster’s 15 point lead. 24-9.
6:23: Oh dear. We blame Ryle.
6:31: TRY. Ulster have been knocking on the door for a while and finally they smash it open. A brilliant little break from Paddy Wallace followed by a basketball style pass puts Dan Touhy over. Ruan Pienaar misses the conversion though. 24-14 with 17 minutes to go.
6:38 Another penalty from Jonny Sexton has all but closed this game out. Leinster lead 27-14 with 12 minutes left. BOD has departed as has Chris Henry from Ulster. Three out of four now looks a mere formality.
6:44: Drico looked in some discomfort when he went off. Let’s hope it isn’t the dreaded shoulder injury again.
6:46: Drico laughs at my discomfort claims as he marches back on.
6:47: Sexton adds yet another penalty. 6 minutes in the score stands at 30-14 Leinster and the men in blue have confirmed themselves as the greatest side to have ever played in the European cup. It’s an achievement made all the more remarkable by the manner they have done it.
6:51: Van Der Merwe has added another try for Leinster. It’s been a hammering in truth. Sky and Stuart Barnes have just awarded Sean O’Brien the man of the match and it’s well deserved.
6:56: Full-time and Leinster added another. Sean Cronin bundles over after another sweeping move. You run out of superlatives really. 42-14 is your full-time score and it may not even do this Leinster side justice. A team to be proud of. Keep it here for reaction and everything else.