Home Rugby Heineken Champions Cup: La Rochelle win trophy for first time with dramatic last-gasp try

Heineken Champions Cup: La Rochelle win trophy for first time with dramatic last-gasp try

Heineken Champions Cup: La Rochelle win trophy for first time with dramatic last-gasp try

Leinster’s Hugo Keenan comes up towards Jonathan Danty of La Rochelle
Leinster (12) 21
Pens: Sexton 6, R Byrne
La Rochelle (7) 24
Tries: Rhule, Bourgarit, Retiere Cons: West 3 Pens: West

La Rochelle received the Champions Cup for the primary time in vastly dramatic trend as Arthur Retiere’s 79th-minute strive noticed them edge out Leinster 24-21.

Leinster needed to defend heroically within the latter phases in Marseille however their defences had been ultimately breached as Retiere stretched to the touch down.

The Irish province had led for a lot of the sport thanks to 6 Johnny Sexton tries and one from Ross Byrne.

Raymond Rhule and Pierre Bourgarit crossed for the victors’ different tries.

The triumph delivers a primary main trophy for La Rochelle, who turn out to be the thirteenth aspect to win the Champions Cup and the fourth from France.

The French aspect had crushed Leinster on the semi-final stage final season however went on to lose to Toulouse within the last so this may go some solution to make up for that disappointment.

Their coach Ronan O’Gara, the match’s document factors scorer, joins his Leinster counterpart Leo Cullen as the one males to win the championship as a participant and a coach.

The Irish province had been annoyed nevertheless of their bid to equal Toulouse’s document of 5 wins in Europe’s premier membership competitors.

Leinster loved the higher of the early phases and had been rewarded with two Sexton penalties within the opening 9 minutes, the French aspect being punished for his or her indiscipline, firstly for palms within the ruck after which offside.

O’Gara’s workforce responded a minute later when wing Rhule powered over the road, with Ihaia West changing.

Robbie Henshaw was too sluggish to roll away from a sort out however benefit was performed and La Rochelle handed the ball shortly by way of the palms. Dillin Leyts’ offload set Rhule on his solution to weave previous Hugo Keenan and different defenders earlier than diving over.

Sexton restored his aspect’s lead together with his third penalty within the twenty second minute after the French outfit had been penalised for crossing in midfield however the Irish province needed to endure a interval of stress within the run-up to the interval.

La Rochelle stretched their opponents, going by way of the phases and attacking backward and forward however they might have been extra direct as they suffered from a scarcity of composure at very important phases as they superior on the Leinster line.

Two very important scrums earlier than half-time, one at both finish of the pitch, each went in Leinster’s favour, and Sexton took benefit of extra infringements from their opponents by knocking over his fourth penalty in added time.

La Rochelle lowered their deficit two minutes into the second half as West landed three factors after Caelan Doris did not launch however Leinster responded with sturdy defence and two additional penalties from Sexton to punish the Prime 14 aspect for a scarcity of self-discipline.

Feeding off the vitality of the partisan crowd at Stade Orange Velodrome, La Rochelle drew themselves to inside a degree once they received their very own lineout, put collectively an attacking maul and Bourgarit rumbled over to the touch down, West including the extras.

5 minutes later nevertheless French second row Thomas Lavault was proven a yellow card by referee Wayne Barnes for a blatant off-the-ball journey and alternative Ross Byrne, who had simply come on to interchange a hobbling Sexton, punished his offence by kicking a penalty.

Regardless of their numerical drawback, La Rochelle proved dominant up entrance and loved a sustained interval of territorial possession, incomes a sequence of penalties however repeatedly annoyed of their efforts to attain as they kicked for the nook after which taking a scrum.

Their persistence in going by way of the phases was ultimately rewarded when alternative scrum-half Retiere stretched and dotted the ball down on the road for the essential rating. West contributing the extra two factors.

Leinster: Keenan; J O’Brien, Ringrose, Henshaw, Lowe; Sexton (capt), Gibson-Park; Porter, Kelleher, Furlong, Molony, Ryan; Doris, Van der Flier, Conan.

Replacements: Sheehan, Healy, Ala’alatoa, McCarthy, Ruddock, McGrath, R Byrne, Frawley.

La Rochelle: Dulin; Leyds, Sinzelle, Danty, Rhule; West, Berjon; Priso, Bourgarit, Atonio, Lavault, Skelton; Liebenberg, Haddad, Alldritt (capt).

Replacements: Bosch, Wardi, Sclavi, Sazy, Boureau, Retiere, Botia, Favre.

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