Stade Rochelais (La Rochelle) secured a second successive Heineken Champions Cup title today with a hard-fought 27 – 26 win over Leinster.
Facing the daunting task of having to overcome the Dubliners in their own backyard, the defending champions knew they would need to be at their best to retain their title.
Things looked dicey, to begin with as Leinster came out of the blocks hot to race into a 17 – 0 lead.
Yet, in a near mirror image of last season’s final, the powerful French side worked their way back into the contest before.
As if written in the stars, La Rochelle would crash over from close range in a similar fashion to last season to secure a late win.
Clearly ecstatic with the win, former Munster legend Ronan O’Gara (ROG), who coaches La Rochelle, couldn’t hide his emotions as the final whistle sounded.
Having clearly built something special in the little French Atlantic city, ROG is now one of the most in-demand coaches in the international game.
Iconic! 👏#ROG #LEIvLAR #staderochelais pic.twitter.com/5qPBdeM0hJ
— Philip Bendon (@PBendon) May 20, 2023