This Saturday evening, Leinster narrowly lost in the Champions Cup final against La Rochelle (26-27). The disappointment was therefore necessarily immense, as with Leo Cullen, the beaten coach of the day.
Leinster will, once again, have to wait. Before winning their fifth European championship title, after 2009, 2011, 2012 then 2018. In the most prestigious of rugby club competitions, the Irish team lost in their last three appearances in the final. It is even his second defeat in a row at this same stage of the competition. As in 2022, Leinster lost to French club La Rochelle. This year, the Irish fail only a small point (26-27).
What necessarily frustrate the camp of the beaten. Like Leo Cullen. The latter is none other than the coach of Leinster. At the end of this cruel defeat, the technician went to a press conference. And in words reported by theAFP, he thus notably declared: “It was tight. It’s so important for everyone to get to this level and it was so close… We started really well, there were a lot of positive things in the first half. Then, in the second half, we lose too many balls. La Rochelle managed to hold their camp and we did not manage to cross the line. It was played on details. (…) We will continue to believe in ourselves and come back. It was a really tight match, like last year. La Rochelle are a good team, which knew how to hold the ball, well prepared, with very good players. It’s frustrating, it’s cruel. »
Leinster’s start to the game was perfect
The start of the match had therefore been entirely to the advantage of Leinster. Who even led up to 17-0, thanks to a total of three tries scored, only one of which was converted. Two men managed to flatten in the in-goal. They are Dan Sheehan, author of a double (2nd, 12th) and Jimmy O’Brien (7th). Opposite, the awakening finally intervened in the 19th minute of play, with a first try scored by Jonathan Danty. The Maritimes never stopped pushing. And it was Georges-Henri Colombe’s last try (72nd), converted by Antoine Hastoy, who definitively offered this match to the Rochelais.