recaps the action as Leinster defeated Racing 92 by 15-12 in Bilbao.
Both sides made a mountain of errors in Bilbao. Racing were guilty of ten of the 23 penalties and two conceded in front of their posts in the last six minutes allowed replacement kicker Isa Nacewa to knock over the equalising and winning scores. Leinster led for just 92 seconds of normal time. It was enough for a 15-12 victory.
Racing will rue the loss of out-half Pat Lambie to injury after just three minutes, on top of the fact that Dan Carter was ruled out with a hamstring injury before kick-off. They pushed Leinster all the way here with their third-choice ten and hooker and a second-choice scrum-half after the injury earlier this month to Maxime Machenaud. Tough.
A fourth European title for Leinster and a first in six years. A great day for the province and another feather in the cap for Irish rugby on the back of the Grand Slam Six Nations campaign earlier in the season - and with Leinster and Munster still vying for PRO14 honours as well.
EPCR made a brave move in bringing this game to a non-traditional rugby country but the bid to showcase the game was hampered by the wet conditions and a tryless game that was one for the purists. The atmosphere inside the stadium was muted for long periods. Not the carnival everyone wanted then but not the first final to be such a strain either.
Leinster found it so difficult to make gains against a Racing side that was blitzing them with a quick defence. It made it impossible to pull off those trademark wrap arounds but still wasn’t ultimately enough for the Top 14 side.
James Ryan. Again. Simply sensational all the way through as most of is other illustrious colleagues stuttered. That’s 21 games of professional rugby he has played now and he has yet to lose one.
No let up for Leinster who welcome Munster to the RDS next Saturday for a Guinness PRO14 semi-final. Racing 92 await the outcome of next weekend’s Top 14 play-offs before discovering who they face in the last four there.