Leinster beat Leicester 19-16 to lift Heineken Cup
Leinster capped a dream year for Irish rugby with a dramatic 19-16 win over Leicester in the Heineken Cup final at Edinburgh yesterday. The Irish province, long considered Munster's poor cousin, finally delivered on their undoubted potential.
Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll again showed why he is the best centre in the world putting in a brilliant defensive performance, opening the scoring with a well taken drop goal. Leinster out-half Jonny Sexton, only starting due to Felipe Contepomi's injury, showed a cool head and landed another drop goal and a penalty to give his side a 9-6 lead midway through the first half.
Despite their early dominance, Leinster found themselves 16-9 down early in the second half after prop Stan Wright picked up a yellow card for an early tackle on Sam Vesty. Julien Dupuy scored the resulting penalty and a few minutes later Ben Woods broke a number of tackles to score the game's opening try and give Leicester the lead.
But Australian flanker Rocky Elsom, the best player on the pitch by a country mile, took the game by the scruff of the neck and one of his storming runs set up a ruck five yards out and No.8 Jamie Heaslip barged over for the try.
Just as Leinster raised the tempo Leicester began showing the effects of playing the Premiership final last weekend. The English champions coughed up a penalty ten minutes from time leaving Sexton with a place kick to put his side ahead. The young out half kept his cool and made no mistake.
Leicester still had time to try and win the game, but Sam Vesty put his restart straight out on the full before finally giving away a penalty on the edge of the Leinster 22 as they desperately looked to level the scores. Sexton booted the ball into touch to send the Leinster fans at Murrayfield wild.