Ospreys became the only side to ever win three Celtic League titles as they beat Leinster 17-12 in the inaugural Grand Final of the Magners League at the RDS on Saturday. First half tries by Tommy Bowe and Lee Byrne proved the difference between the two sides.
The home side managed four penalties from Jonathan Sexton, but it was ultimately a frustrating day for them and a disappointing send off for coach Michael Cheika.
“We’re just disappointed that we didn’t play well enough in a final,” Cheika said. “That’s the key thing. We had enough opportunities to build pressure on the opposition but we didn’t take them. When we eased off they took advantage and took their chances. There’s no excuses. Two teams went out there; the Ospreys played better than us and they deserved to win,” he added.
Both tries for Ospreys were well constructed and finished as the outside backs showed their class. Leinster mustered a bit of a comeback in the second half, but were held off by the experienced Welsh region who held on for the well deserved win.
“As somebody who has been to every single Ospreys game, it’s pretty much up there I can tell you – it’s a special night,” said coach Sean Holley. “I wouldn’t say it was our best performance, but certainly one of our most courageous and determined.”
“We went out to try and win it, we went out to score tries and we did that. There aren’t too many teams who can come here and score tries against Leinster. To score two in the first half, it just gave us a little bit more belief that we could try and push on and win it.
“We tried to lose it in the second half, by giving away some penalties, but our defensive effort in the end was outstanding,” Holley added.
This clip is of the tries from the match. The new format of having playoffs and a final seems to have been a success. Do you prefer it this way, or like things the way they were before?