It what was a stunning second-half display from Leinster against Northampton Saints as the Irish side won 33-22 to claim their second Heineken Cup at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff this evening.
Northampton, who went into the match as clear underdogs, stormed the first-half with a ferocious performance. They looked full of confidence and authority as they scored three tries to take a 22-6 point advantage at the interval over a Leinster side that was in complete disarray.
Phil Dowson, Ben Foden and Dylan Hartley all crossed the white line with ease for the Saints, in a first half which was dominated by Leinster handling errors and the success of the Northampton scrum.
Finding themselves 16 points down emerging for the second half, expectations were of an aggressive and up tempo restart to the game from Leinster. And so it proved. The magnificent Jonathon Sexton, who scored 28 points in all narrowly missing the points record for a Heineken Cup Final, scored two second half tries to bring his side within touching distance of the biggest rugby European club accolade.
Nathan Hines, who will leave the club at the end of this season, added a deserved third try as Northampton conceded a massive 27 points without reply.
Leinster, who could complete a European and domestic cup double with a Magners League final fixture against Munster next Saturday, staged one of the great comebacks today which will be remembered vividly by fans, players and management alike for a long time.
Another memorable evening in Cardiff for Irish rugby fans.
Tries: Sexton (2), Hines
Conversions: Sexton (3)
Pens: Sexton (4)
Tries: Dowson, Foden, Hartley
Conversions: Myler (2)
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