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Monday, May 27, 2013

Leinster give coach winning send off with RaboDirect PRO12 Final victory

Leinster followed up last week's Amlin Challenge Cup victory over Stade Francais with a hard fought 24-18 win over Ulster, claiming the RaboDirect PRO12 title. It was Joe Schmidt's final game in charge before he takes on the Ireland coaching role.

A Shane Jennings try in the first half helped Leinster to a 16-6 halftime lead, before Jamie Heaslip went over after the break. Racing Metro bound Jonathan Sexton kicked four penalties and a conversion, while Ruan Pienaar kicked all the points for Ulster. The online betting odds were heavily stacked in Leinster's favour at this point.

Robbie Diack was sent to the sin bin for a ruck infringement, and shortly afterwards Isa Nacewa joined him after high tackle which jerked Paddy Jackson back by the collar after a nice break.

That started a surge of momentum for Ulster as Ruan Pienaar slotted three penalties, but Heaslip's try pulled things back in the Dubliners favour, and they held on for the win.

"I think we showed we are their equal now. I got a lot of heart from what I have seen," said Ulster coach Mark Anscombe. "We can take heart. We've got to make sure we bounce back from this.

"We've come a long way this year. Not doing as best as we could, we could have beaten and should have beaten the best team in the competition. We had our chances but the key is discipline. You can't give a good team like that chances."

Leinster ended a run of three successive league final losses, winning for the first time since 2008, giving New Zealander Schmidt a great send off.

"The Rabo is a fantastic competition and it's great to finally have the trophy in our changing room. Ulster deserve a lot of credit. They came at us, but we showed a lot about ourselves by winning out," said Schmidt.

"I'm fatigued and more than a little worn-out, but it will be great to look back on this during the summer. And on the three years in general because I have enjoyed every bit of it."

Posted at 7:10 am | 13 comments

Viewing 13 comments

Rob May 27, 2013 3:07 pm

All Diack had to do was fall over the line, not cut back inside. Butchered.

And Ulster lose by 6 points.

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Reality May 27, 2013 7:39 pm

It was probably the worst piece of play I've ever seen from any player. To do something so utterly stupid in a final is just beyond belief. And it's not like he just made a mistake and dropped the ball - he actually chose to do what he did. Awful.

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DanKnapp May 27, 2013 9:58 pm

"It was probably the worst piece of play I've ever seen from any player. To do something so utterly stupid in a final is just beyond belief."

Short memories. I seem to remember something from another final this weekend, which could be described as a leeeetle more stupid than trying to make the kick easier...

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Reality May 27, 2013 10:53 pm

Ahah, you have a point there. What really infuriates me about the non-try though is that he actually chose to cut back inside into three defenders rather than just putting it down. Hartley didn't choose to be an idiot - it just sort of happened - but Diack did. Maybe it's not worse, but to me it's far more mind-boggling than Hartley's outburst.

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John R May 28, 2013 9:44 am

It i s easy to single out Diack, and yea it might have being the difference, but not giving away all those peno's might have done it.

BTW, I'm a Leinster man.

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Reality May 29, 2013 12:29 am

He got himself yellow-carded as well though, so I think we can single him out for both the try and the indiscipline. And I'm from Dublin, so I'm reasonably neutral too.

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MunsterFan May 27, 2013 6:08 pm

And we saw it all for FREE on NATIONAL TV!

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mise May 28, 2013 12:23 am

I'm obviously missing sth but how is that not a try in the end by Diack? On 2.06-07, he does actually put it down. Held up too long? Or wha?

These (sorts of) highlights don't do the match justice, ferocious and frenetic at times, very exciting. Ulster very unlucky, as they were always that few points behind after that strange strange non-try....

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brawnybalboa May 28, 2013 12:43 am

I think it was called as held up. Took too long to place the ball.

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ConorL May 28, 2013 2:38 am

Yep, definitely held up. Good call. You could also argue that the ref could have even penalized Diack for double movement. So, not a try on two counts!

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John R May 28, 2013 9:40 am

You can hear the ref blow his whistle just before the ball is grounded and therefore the play was dead.

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NMcM May 28, 2013 10:55 am

Does anybody else think that Pienaar's penalty at 4:07 is right and wide?

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ConnachtMan May 28, 2013 2:44 pm

You have just witnessed the Irish Summer. 364 days of rain remain. As you were.

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