Leinster defeat Saints 33 – 23 to lift Heineken Cup at Cardiff – Rugby Union news

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Leinster defeat Saints 33 – 22 to lift Heineken Cup at Cardiff – Rugby Union news
Leinster Rugby has defeated the Northampton Saints 33 – 22 to lift the Heineken Cup at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff on Saturday May 21. Approximately 72,456 fans witnessed the historic match as players from two sporting rival nations locked horns for
the European Crown.
Leinster finished second in the Magners League while Saints finished fourth in the Aviva Premiership. Leinster was trailing by 16 points but the home team came back strongly to shock the visitors at the iconic Millennium Stadium.  
Last week Leicester Tigers defeated Saints during the first semi-final of the Aviva Premiership 11 – 3.  Irrespective of their disappointing performance against the Tigers at Welford Road, Saints started the Heineken Cup final match with some intensity,
passion and purpose.
Saints were simply remarkable in the first half of the game that created a pin drop silence in the crowd. Saints enjoyed early ball and territory possession and handled the ball very well to create scoring opportunities.
Saints were first to score in the finals and take the lead during the seventh minute of the game as their flanker, Phil Dowson, scored the first try of the match. Saints fly half, Stephen Myler, followed it up with his conversion to give Saints a crucial
seven point lead.
Leinster regrouped and was able to build momentum that earned them a penalty in the 13th minute of the game. Leinster’s fly half, Jonathan Sexton, successfully scored on the penalty to reduce the lead to four points. Myler’s 20th minute penalty
again extended the lead to seven points.
Saints were able to retain more ball possession and kept a constant pressure on the Leinster’s defence. Saints capitalised on the scoring opportunities as they sent their fullback Ben Foden for a try in the 30th minute of the game.  Myler scored
on the conversion to extend the Saints lead to 14 points.
Sexton’s second penalty of the game in the 35th minute shortened the lead before Saints hooker Dylan Hartley scored the second try of the game for Saints in the 38th minute to leave the Leinster trailing by massive 16 points at half
Leinster started the second half impressively as they managed to stage one of the most historic comebacks in the European history to lift the Cup. The all out effort was lead by Jonathan Sexton who scored 22 points during in the second half.
Sexton opened the scoring for the Leinster in the second half with a try during the 43rd minute of the game followed it by own conversion.  Sexton scored his second try during the 52nd minute of the game followed by his own conversion.
Within a ten-minute time span, Sexton’s 14 points changed the face of the game. Sexton’s 56th minute penalty put the Leinster in lead for the first time in the game. He scored his last penalty of the match during the 60th minute to
further the lead.
Leinster’s lock, Nathan Hines, scored the last try of the match during the 64th minute of the game. Sexton followed by his conversion to take the scorecard reading 33 – 22.
Saints tried their level best to make a comeback but Leinster’s denied them from any scoring opportunities and kept them scoreless during the second half of the game. Sexton bagged 28 points from the match and won the Man of the Match award.
Heineken Cup winners will take on the Munster at Thomond Park Limerick on Saturday, May 28, in the finals of the Magners League.  



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