Leinster legend Shane Horgan had harsh words for their former side following their narrow defeated to underdogs La Rochelle in the Heineken Champions Cup final over the weekend.
Leo Cullen’s side entered the final as 9-point favourites with the bookies but were undone courtesy of a last minute as Arthur Retiere sealed the deal.
Speaking on Virgin Media, Horgan felt Leinster looked “tight” and could not find the rhythm that had seen them sweep aside all comers throughout the tournament.
Prompted by hose Joe Molloy who wondered whether Leinster had learnt their lessons from the season before where they were undone by La Rochelle at the semi-final stage. Horgan felt they were a better side all the way up to the final.
“Leinster mismanaged that second half in key periods of it, there’s no doubt, but La Rochelle played the game in the right place, played with all the territory.”
“Devastation for Leinster. “But no doubt La Rochelle deserved to win that game. There was an inevitability to what we saw unfold over the last 10 minutes of that game.,” Horgan said.
Also in the discussion was Leinster and Ireland legend Rob Kearney who was a bit easier on his former side.
“It’s the best team they’ve played against this season. They didn’t lose the collision area but they weren’t as dominant as they have been throughout the season,” Kearney concluded.
Horgan didn’t agree with the assessment however instead pointing out that despite physicality historically being Leinster’s undoing they still did not deal with it.
“What was the danger, we said before the game, is that Leinster revert to the types of performances we’ve seen in the last couple of years,”
“Particularly last year against La Rochelle in the semi, against Sarries in the quarter and against Sarries in the final. They tighten up a little bit, their shape isn’t as sophisticated,” Horgan said.
Rob Kearney & Shane Horgan on the difference between La Rochelle & Leinster in that final.#LEIvSR #HeinekenChampionsCup pic.twitter.com/GcHswVfw7kADVERTISEMENT
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) May 28, 2022