Leinster win the clash
A remake of the two previous Heineken Champions Cup finals, both won by Stade Rochelais, today's match was less exciting and won by the visitors, who were more clinical and better physically. The Dubliners won their 7th consecutive game in all competitions. It was a setback for the Maritimes, who wasted too much in the scoring areas, especially on penalties.
Frawley, the cannon shot
In the dying moments of the game, the four-time European champions were awarded a penalty in their own half, more than 60 metres from the posts. Ciarán Frawley, who came on at fly-half empty since Jonathan Sexton's retirement, stepped up to the plate to try and add three points. And against all odds, the Sydney native ended the game with an extraordinary kick.
The pet peeve status is over
Three losses in a row. On the scale of a team like Leinster, that's an eternity. In 2021, in an empty stadium, the club at the Caravelle created a feat by knocking out the Dubliners in the semi-finals (32-23). They did it again in the final the following season (24-21) and then last year (27-26), at the Aviva Stadium. The men of Ronan O'Gara, a legendary Munsterman, had become the nemesis team of the Irish.
A game without ideas
Shaken up in the league (only 9th, with five defeats in nine games), Ronan O'Gara's men could have kicked off their season with this prestigious reception. Failure. And the back of the game, even if the torrential rain that fell on Marcel-Deflandre on Sunday can serve as an acceptable excuse, is still as empty as ever. The spectators were not able to witness the slightest major move, apart from a breakthrough by Danty (77′). All other attempts have been fruitless.
A 16-game winning streak ended
It had been two and a half years since the Maritimes had tasted defeat on the continental stage. To find a trace of the last defeat, we have to go back to the final of the European Cup lost to Stade Toulousain (17-22), on May 22, 2021. Since then, Ronan O'Gara's men had won 16 games in a row.
A Hung Encounter
Hurt in their pride, the Irish quickly made their state of mind clear from the first minutes of the game. By multiplying provocations and small scuffles, they increased the pressure and perhaps destabilized the locals. To put an end to these groupings, the referee decided to show two yellow cards, one for Danty and the other for McCarthy (12′). Just a minute before Larmour's try, where the presence of the international centre would have been invaluable...