Bok wings topped two-time Euro champs

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Dillyn Leyds and Raymond Rhule claimed winners’ medals as La Rochelle launched a surprising fightback to beat Leinster and retain the Champions Cup in Dublin on Saturday.

Springbok wingers Leyds and Rhule, who helped La Rochelle raise a maiden European title final season, featured prominently in an exhilarating 27-26 win on the Aviva Stadium.

Bok lock Jason Jenkins performed off the bench for Leinster, whereas South African referee Jaco Peyper blew the sport and made a number of massive calls, notably yellow playing cards for hooker Ronan Kelleher and centre Jonathan Danty, in addition to a straight pink to Michael Ala’alatoa within the closing 10 minutes of an epic conflict within the Irish capital.

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La Rochelle clawed again from 17-0 all the way down to edge out Leinster. Substitute prop Georges-Henri Colombe crossed within the 72nd minute because the French aspect triumphed in a rerun of final season’s closing.

Leo Cullen’s Leinster eyed becoming a member of Toulouse on a document 5 titles however Eire veteran Johnny Sexton watched on from the gang resulting from an harm, denying him a closing recreation for the Irish province.

In entrance of a sea of residence followers, Leinster made the very best begin potential as hooker Dan Sheehan opened the scoring from a wise lineout transfer after simply 41 seconds.

Ross Byrne, standing in for 37-year-old Sexton, added the conversion to make it 7-0, with the Irish supporters in full voice even with the overcast circumstances in entrance of 51,000 in Dublin.

Their dominance continued as they led 17-0, with winger Jimmy O’Brien scoring and Sheehan claiming his second by the quarter mark because of their scientific assault inside La Rochelle’s 22m and nearly good defence.

Thirty seconds earlier than Sheehan’s double, La Rochelle scrumhalf Tawera Kerr-Barlow was proven a yellow card.

La Rochelle’s response got here on 20 minutes as Danty crashed by three defenders to attain from brief vary however the French pleasure was short-lived.

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Byrne kicked two penalties to make it 23-7 after half an hour, both aspect of Kerr-Barlow’s return from the sin bin as Leinster captain James Ryan left the sector with a head harm.

With two minutes left of the primary half, Ronan O’Gara’s French aspect reduce the deficit to 23-14 as Samoa centre UJ Seuteni sliced by Leinster’s defence after some trademark highly effective carries from lock Will Skelton and prop Uini Atonio.

After the break, Antoine Hastoy kicked two penalties both aspect of a Byrne effort to make it 26-20 with half an hour to play as French followers across the floor discovered their voice. Going into the closing quarter of an hour the stress mounted and Hastoy discovered contact with a penalty 5 metres from the Irish line.

With eight minutes remaining, and after numerous decide and goes, Colombe bundled over for the French aspect. Hastoy’s conversion made it 27-26 and La Rochelle led for the primary time of the enthralling encounter.

After Danty was sin-binned for a excessive deal with, Byrne kicked the ball inside 20 metres of La Rochelle’s whitewash. Inches from the French line and with Leinster on prime, Ala’alatoa was despatched off with lower than two minutes remaining for a harmful clear-out on Colombe.

With 15 seconds over the 80 minutes Hastoy kicked the ball lifeless to finish the ultimate and provides La Rochelle back-to-back title triumphs.

© Agence France-Presse

Picture: Anne-Christine POUJOULAT/ AFP



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