2022 – Leinster 21 La Rochelle 24: La Rochelle wins the Heineken Cup as Leinster sinks at the last minute

La Rochelle celebrates after winning the Champions Cup
Leinster (12) 21
Pencils: Sexton 6, t. Bern
Rochelle (7) 24
attempt: Rowley, Borgarette, Ritter Negatives: West 3 Pencils: the West

La Rochelle won its first Champions Cup in a sensational fashion when Arthur Ritter beat Leinster in the 79th minute with a 24-21 victory.

Leinster had to defend heroically in the closing stages in Marseille but their defense was finally broken when Ritier extended to touch the ground.

They led most of the match thanks to six penalties from Johnny Sexton and one from Ross Byrne.

Raymond Ruhl and Pierre Bourget have crossed for the other attempts at La Rochelle.

The win secured La Rochelle’s first major title, which became the thirteenth team to win the Champions Cup and the fourth from France.

The Frenchman beat Leinster in the semi-finals last season but lost to Toulouse in the final, so some of that disappointment can be undone.

Their coach Ronan O’Gara, the tournament’s record scorer, joins his Leinster counterpart Leo Cullen as the only man to win the tournament as a player and coach.

However, the Irish counties were frustrated in their attempt to equal Toulouse’s record five wins in Europe’s premier club competition.

Leinster enjoyed a better opening period and picked up two penalties in the first nine minutes, with the French penalized for indiscipline, first for a hand and then offside.

O’Gara’s team responded a minute later when Wing Rhule fired over the goal line and converted Ihaia West.

Robbie Henshaw was too slow to roll away from any tackle, but the advantage was played and La Rochelle quickly passed the ball between the hands. Dillyn Leyds’ throw put Rhule on course to get past Hugo Keenan and the other defenders before diving in.

Sexton regained his team’s lead with a third penalty kick in the 22nd minute after punishing opponents for a cross in the middle of the field, but the Irishman was subjected to a period of pressure before the break.

La Rochelle overpowered his opponents, launching a side-to-side attack, but suffered from a lack of composure on the crucial stages as they advanced down the line.

Two key players before the break, one at either end of the field, both worked for Leinster and Sexton overcame a fourth penalty in overtime.

Hugo Keenan of Leinster meets Jonathan Dante of La Rochelle

La Rochelle pared his deficit two minutes into the second half when West dropped three points after Kaylan Doris missed the ball but two more Sexton penalties left the 14-team side being awarded for a lack of discipline.

Fueled by the energy of the partisan crowd at the Stade Orange Velodrome, La Rochelle regressed to a point when they won their own line-up, put together an offensive hit and a Bourgarit dash for the touchdown, West made the additions.

Five minutes later, second-tier Frenchman Thomas Lafault received a yellow card by referee Wayne Barnes for a blatant run without the ball at Jamison Gibson Park, and substitute Ross Burne, who had just been substituted for Sexton limping, fell by a narrow margin. Penalty.

Despite their numerical weakness, La Rochelle proved dominant in attack and enjoyed a long period of possession, earning a number of penalty kicks but repeatedly frustrated in his efforts to score when he stepped in for a corner kick and then scored.

Their patience was finally rewarded when Ritier, the spare half, threw the ball down the line for the decisive score. West contributed the two extra points to secure an unforgettable win after a thrilling match.

Lester: Keenan. J O’Brien, Ringrose, Henshaw, Lowe; Sexton (captain), Gibson Park; Porter, Keeler, Furlong, Moloney, Ryan; Doris, Van der Vlier, Conan.

alternative: Sheehan, Healy, Al-Alahwa, McCarthy, Ruddock, McGrath, R. Byrne, Frawley.

Rochelle: Dolin. Leyds, Sinzelle, Danty, Rhule; West, Bargon; Bresseau, Bourget, Attonio, LaVault, Skelton; Liebenberg, Blacksmith, Aldrett (Captain).

alternative: Bush, pink, slave, sazi, bordeaux, retiere, potia, favre.

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