Leinster want a European dynasty

Sun, 20 May 2012 14:35
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Irish legend Brian O'Driscoll believes Leinster can build a European dynasty after the Irish province clinched a third European Cup triumph in the space of four seasons in a 42-14 win over Ulster.

Irish legend Brian O'Driscoll believes Leinster can build a European dynasty after the Irish province clinched a third European Cup triumph in the space of four seasons in a 42-14 win over Ulster.

Captain Leo Cullen and his men retained their proud European crown in style in front of a record 81,774 crowd for a final. It was also a record victory margin and record points total as Leinster made history at Twickenham.

Tries from Sean O'Brien, props Cian Healy and Heinke Van Der Merwe, hooker Sean Cronin and a penalty try sparked off a southern Irish party.

Flyhalf Jonathan Sexton kicked 15 points and Fergus McFadden a penalty while Dan Tuohy grabbed Ulster's sole try and scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar kicked the rest of their points.

But Leinster proved too powerful, showing the kind of class which has left some experts hailing them as the finest club rugby team the northern hemisphere has seen.

World class centre O'Driscoll, who recovered from knee surgery a week earlier to inspire the team again, insisted: "When we won it the first time we had a chat and decided that one European Cup wasn't going to be enough.

"We wanted a lot more. We wanted to create a kind of dynasty that will give us something special to remember when we retire.

"Winning this trophy, the greatest club rugby trophy where is, is an incredible achievement and a very special feeling. I'm just so proud of all the guys who have put in so much work and effort into what we have finished off here.

"The energy level was phenomenal. Not just from the guys who started by those who came on as well. Two tries came from guys coming on as replacements which shows you just how much the whole squad was up for this occasion.

"But even winning a third one will not be enough. This team will be just as hungry and determined to enjoy a lot more success."

Record breaking lock Brad Thorn, who became the only player to win a World Cup, Super Sugby title and now European Cup, produced another outstanding display belying his 37 years.

"This feels as special as any of the winners medals I have won in my career. It feels wonderful," said the All Blacks star.

"Everyone deserves this success. I am just so lucky to be part of another very special set of players who work hard, play hard and know how to win. Leinster can go on and win many more."

Man of the Match O'Brien claimed: "We have a world class coaching set up and every time you put on the blue jersey you feel special and want to pull up trees."

Defeated Ulster captain and lock Johann Muller admitted: "We were second best for most of the game and Leinster deserve their success. We gave it everything but it wasn't enough. We have no complaints.

"We arrived believing we could give them a very hard game and push them close. We had had a great build up and campaign but this was one hurdle too difficult to jump."

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EUROPEAN CUP
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Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 6 6 0 0 28
Ulster 6 4 0 2 18
Oyonnax 6 1 0 5 7
Toulouse 6 1 0 5 5
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 16
Bordeaux 6 3 0 3 16
Ospreys 6 3 0 3 16
Clermont Auvergne 6 3 0 3 15
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Racing Metro 6 4 1 1 22
Northampton Saints 6 4 1 1 19
Glasgow Warriors 6 3 0 3 14
Scarlets 6 0 0 6 2
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leicester Tigers 6 5 0 1 23
Stade Francais 6 4 0 2 19
Munster 6 3 0 3 15
Treviso 6 0 0 6 0
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 6 4 0 2 20
Toulon 6 5 0 1 20
Bath 6 2 0 4 10
Leinster 6 1 0 5 6
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