Leinster v Stade Francais

Amlin Challenge Cup final as it happened - Leinster 34 Stade Francais

Carl O'Malley Fri, May 17
Stade Francais
LIVE: Leinster v Stade Francais

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  • 19:35
    It might not be the final they targeted at the start of the season but Leinster will no doubt discover what Chelsea did on Wednesday - if they beat Stade Francais at the RDS this evening - that silverware, no matter what its perceived value at the start of the year, can be priceless at the end of it.
  • 19:40
    Seven changes for Leinster, as outgoing coach Joe Schmidt, decidely more popular than departing Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez, has put his faith in the fresh legs of youth.

    He's just been on Sky Sports insisting if it were a Heineken Cup final the selection would have been the same. "Young Jack McGrath's done really well, Rhys Ruddock's done well, and also Quin Roux."

    He still has some heavy hitters on the bench, of course, with Cian Healy, Shane Jennings and Leo Cullen there to be called upon.
  • 19:45

    Whatever about Schmidt's view of the team, Stade coach Christophe Laussucq was undoubtedly buoyed by it when handed the team yesterday.

    “McGrath? Healy’s on the bench . . ,” he mused. “We were waiting for Brian O’Driscoll. We are not too unhappy he is not there but let’s not underestimate this team. Heineken Cup champions at home. No D’Arcy, no O’Driscoll but still a good team.” 

  • 19:47
    McGrath is sure to have been plotting a fitting riposte all day.
  • 19:47
    In full, here are the teams.

    LEINSTER: R Kearney; A Conway, F McFadden, I Madigan, I Nacewa; J Sexton, I Boss; J McGrath, S Cronin, M Ross, Q Roux, D Toner, R Ruddock, S O’Brien, J Heaslip (capt). Replacements: R Strauss, C Healy, J Hagan, L Cullen, S Jennings, J Cooney, A Goodman, D Kearney.
    STADE FRANCAIS : J Porical; J Sinzelle, G Doumayrou, P Williams, H Bonneval; J Plisson, J Dupuy; A De Malmanche, L Sempere, R Slimani, S Lavalla, G Mostert, D Lyons, P Rabadan, S Parisse (capt). Replacements: R Bonfils, S Wright, J Becasseau, A van Zyl, L Tomiki, W Nayacalevu, J Arias, P Warwick.
    Referee: N Owens (Wales).
  • 19:49
    Shaggy Shane Horgan is getting all aflutter about the backrow battle, warning: "If you stop (Sergio) Parisse, you stop Stade."
  • 19:51
    The pitch at the RDS looks immaculate and despite the four seasons in one day efforts the weather gods have been offering up recently, it's a warm, bright evening in D4, perfect for free-flowing rugby.  

    Let us know your thoughts on tonight's game or, indeed, tomorrow's Heino Cup final between Toulon and Clermont Auvergne at the Aviva.
  • 19:54
    Just seven or eight minutes to go now, so still time for the heavens to open, I suppose. You never know, there could be a blizzard yet.
  • 19:56
    A mouth-watering stat for those hoping for fireworks this evening: In the six knockout games thus far, the average points scored has been 60, wtih 6.5 tries per game
  • 19:58
    We're almost underway at the RDS.
  • 20:01
    And they're off and Stade have been pinged by Owens early, scrum Leinster just otuside their 22.
  • 20:02
    All the way up to the Stade 22, but the French have regrouped, after a nice wraparound by Sexton and a chip ahead of Nacewa
  • 20:03
    Lovely skip pass by Madigan to Isa in that move too. Cleared down to the Leinster 10m line.Cronin's dart is good first time out
  • 20:05
    TRY LEINSTER!!!  Madigan has scored a beaut under the posts after he fed Boss, lovely inside pass to Nacewa, back to Sexton and a inside to Madigan again for a score concocted fully 50 metres out.
  • 20:05
    Converted by Sexton and Leinster have a seven point lead after 5 minutes.
  • 20:07
    A little niggle in the frontrows as the Stade boys looking to rattle young McGrath, it seems. The Tullow tank has words!
  • 20:09
    Jules Plisson dragged into touch by Nacewa after Stade disrupted the Leinster scrum and worked it into the corner. Danger averted for now and Leinster win a penalty as they maul their way out of trouble.
  • 20:09
    Nearly eight minutes gone
  • 20:11
    Stade lineout on halfway. They gather, but it's ugly stuff at first before Doumaryou straightend it up. Plisson fires one into the arms of Kearney, who clears as far as the Stade 10m line
  • 20:11
    Dupuy puts one up in the air and Parisse gathers
  • 20:12
    Plisson looking dangerous with ball in hand. At least until he dropped it, and then gifted it to Heaslip, as Leinster retain possession.
  • 20:12
    Sinead mullem GO LEINSTER
  • 20:13
    Back with Stade now, though, after a Leinster knock on.
  • 20:14
    Big Mike Ross is on the deck, nursing what looks like a neck injury.
  • 20:16
    Ross is back on his feat and back in the action, thankfully. 

    We have ref cam on Owens, by the way, so when he's setting the scrum it looks like two herds of cattle sizing each other up.
  • 20:17
    Pen against the Leinster livestock after Ross goes down. His opposite number looked to have dropped his bind, there.
  • 20:19
    Lineout in the corner is won by Stade and the French are almost over, but a timely tackle from Sean O'Brien holds Williams up just as he looks to touch down. Stade knock on soon after and Leinster clear lines through Sexton.
  • 20:21
    Stade take the lineout quick and Plisson orchestrates a break for Dumaryou, who looks lively and beats two tackles. Up to the 22 with some fine handling from Plisson again and Parisse.
  • 20:22
    But they've turned it over and Kearney chips ahead. Conway tries to smash Sinzelle but the winger stays on his feet and Stade clear.
  • 20:24
    TRY LEINSTER!!   Another smashing try from Leinster as Boss puts a high box kick down the blindside and Conway takes brilliantly, before offloading to Cronin in the tackle and hooker goes under the posts
  • 20:24
    Sexton converts the easiest of add ons
  • 20:25
    21 minutes gone: 68 per cent possession for Stade, 14-0 to Leinster
  • 20:26
    Scrum Leinster on the halfway.
  • 20:27
    McFadden breaks two tackles but Parisse crunches O'Brien. Plisson is then hit hard by McFadden in return but Stade retain possession and win a penalty to clear the danger.
  • 20:28
    Mostert and Lavala make headway into the Leinster 22 and again the homeside need to make their tackles. Parisse's loose tackle and pressure form Conway forces them back, though
  • 20:29
    Toner concedes a penalty and Stade will have a shot at the posts.
  • 20:30
    25 min:  Fullback Jerome Porical lines it up from the left and splits the posts for Stade's first score of the game.
  • 20:31
    Leinster have defended well and forced mistakes from Stade but the French deserve those points. 

    Majestic take from Nacewa from the restart.
  • 20:32
    Leinster slightly fortunate to win a scrum after Heaslip looked to have been isolated.
  • 20:34
    TRY LEINSTER!!!   Swallow dive from Rob Kearney after a wonderful crossfield kick from Sexton and catch from Nacewa, who offloads to Kearney in the tackle.
  • 20:35
    Another setpiece, another try. Three chances, three scores.

    Tougher conversion for Sexton.
  • 20:35
    It matters not as the Ireland outhalf boots it over with ease
  • 20:36
    O'Brien gathers the restart and Leinster get too flash and fling it out of play.
  • 20:37
    Halftime in the British and Irish Cup final: Newcastle 10 Leinster 7
  • 20:38
    It was knocked on into touch so scrum for Stade. The first one goes down but the reset is good and Parisse burst towards the 22, with a casual behind the back dummy.

    Still, no major ground made yet. Conway takes down Parisse again.
  • 20:40
    The Leinster defence has been disciplined the tackles precise, but Parisse charges through a rare gap. The Italian is running the show in attack for Stade.
  • 20:41
    35 min: More great hands from Parisse and Lavala has space down the left wing but his pass is poor and off his boot into touch.
  • 20:41
    "They've crabbed so much they're going to grow pincers by halftime."

    That's why Mark Robson's paid the big bucks folks.
  • 20:42
    It should be pointed out that Stade have been hanging over Leinster's line on a few occasions in this half.
  • 20:44
    "Now, let's not spoil the game," crows Nigel Owens at scrum time.

    Everyone  pays heed but the ref then misses a clear knock on by O'Brien when trying to intercept Parisse's pass and Kearney clears the danger.
  • 20:45
    Briefly, because here come Stade, but Porical's grubber is gathered and cleared by Nacewa.
  • 20:46
    Owens redresses the balance by missing a forward pass from Parisse to Sinzelle.  Hands in the ruck from Leinster and Parisse points to the posts. Porical steps up. This time right of the posts and near halfway.
  • 20:48
    It's over the bar and it's halftime. Three smashing tries from Leinster, who have been so clinical despite conceding the majority of possession to their opponents. Two pens from Stade and it all adds up to a 15-point Leinster lead.
  • 21:03
    Sexton to get us underway
  • 21:04
    Former Munster man Paul Warwick is on for Dupuy and he finds a good touch and then claims Sexton's chip over the top for O'Brien.

    Plisson's attempted drop goal drops short and Leinster clear
  • 21:05
    Stade back up to halfway and Warwick sets Dumaryou free. Stade win a penalty but miss touch badly, as Kearney clears from a tight angle.
  • 21:06
    Stade pinged after being caught in front of the catcher. Sexton finds touch on halfway for a Cronin throw.
  • 21:09
    Nacewa and then Madigan is held up in the tackle and it's Stade scrum. Leinster penalised after the scrum wheels. Plisson finds touch on the Leinster 22
  • 21:10
    Leinster break, however, after Stade fumble. Kearney nad Porical trade kicks but Leinser come again through Madigan, Sexton and Conway.
  • 21:11
    Rob Kearney and then O'Brien, but Boss is caught by Warwick. Mostert takes it on for Stade but Plisson gives the ball away again. He looks a talent, that lad, but plays a bit fast and loose.
  • 21:12
    Scrum Leinster just outside the Stade 10m line. Frontrows go down, it'll be reset
  • 21:14
    Madigan takes a thumping in the tackle again but Leinster still have, as Boss takes it into contact. Kearney feeds a grubber through for Nacewa but he's beaten by the touchline
  • 21:15
    51 min:  Richardt Strauss and Cian Healy coming on. No doubt in a bid to sort out those frontrow problems that appear to have hampered leinster until now/
  • 21:17
    Strauss straight into it  and robs Warwick on the ground. Leinster muck it up but it's called back for the pen after Warwick held on too long.

  • 21:17
    Sexton in front of the posts
  • 21:18
    And he obliges, as ever. First points of the half to Leinster.
  • 21:18
    10-10 thanks to a late penalty in the British and Irish Cup final between Newcastle and Leinster
  • 21:21

    Lineout Stade as they decline the posts at this early stage in the hunt for tries. Warwick has added a lot of zip to the Stade attack.

  • 21:22
    56 min:  Scrum Leinster after a forward pass just inside the Leinster 22 and in front of the posts.
  • 21:23
    Heaslip botches the offload to Boss after getting in a tangle with his own boots as the scrum is pushed back. Sinzelle attacks the line but Leinster have good cover in Nacewa and Strauss and Stade knock on
  • 21:26
    Shane Jennings is on for O'Brien as Leinster clear but Sinzelle runs it back. It's helter skelter stuff from Stade and it's robbed by Strauss and Madigan clears.

  • 21:27
    Stade come again, but Parisse, this time misses his pass and Nacewa gathers but fails to keep his clearing kick in touch.
  • 21:27
    Jamie Hagan and Leo Cullen, on for Ross and Roux.
  • 21:28
    60 min:  11 handling errors to four in facour of Leinster. That's been the difference really.  Clinical from Schmidt's side
  • 21:29
    Scrum Leinster and a penalty after Healy and co put things right in the frontrow. Fist pump from Heaslip and Sexton has the posts in his sights.
  • 21:31
    And it just squeezes in from 45 metres. Leinster are three converted scores ahead now as it is confirmed 20,396 are in attendance. A mammoth crowd for the RDS.
  • 21:34
    Sexton escapes after a blatant block but Stade are in on the opposite side with Sinzelle as Kearney gets sucked in field and winger charges over Conway.
  • 21:34

    It's converted by Plisson.  

  • 21:36
    McFadden makes way for Goodman, or not quite, because the centre is receiving treatment in the same area he and Kearney clashed in the tackle leading up to the try.
  • 21:38
    Hubie Kelly Amlin winners V Heineken VIP winners? Same quality at this stage
  • 21:39
    McFadden is carted off and we're back on, but Rob Kearney is hit in the air by Rabadan. Stade escape the pen, however, because the ball didn't go 10. Except that it did.
  • 21:41

    Leinster on the back foot now and Parisse looks to have had a little kick out at Healy while the prop was on the ground.

    Jennings kicks through and clear and Conway chases but misses his kick.  

  • 21:42
    107 tackles for Leinster and 40 for Stade tells the story of this game. Plenty of possession for the French, but Leinster have a bit of momentum again with Goodman charging on.
  • 21:44
    Kearney looks to be in the corner but the linesman has called him in touch. It didn't look like it at first glance but on closer inspection that was a brilliant call from the Ian Davis with the flag.
  • 21:44
    Denis Carroll Sitting in a bar in Spain with no tv Commentary great guys - mucho appreciated
  • 21:46
    Toner pinged for holding on and Stade push Leinster back into their own 22.
  • 21:46
    Tomás Kelly Will u try 2 speed it up
  • 21:46
    Sorry, Tomas, apart from borderline real time, how fast should I be going?
  • 21:47
    Bonneval brings another Stade attack to a halt with a poor kick over the top and Kearney marks with ease.
  • 21:48
    Jennings claims the Stade lineout and Sexton puts one up. Kearney takes it brilliantly and powers on
  • 21:48
    Jennings!!! tries a chip through but it's out on the full.
  • 21:49
    Stade get lucky in the tackle and Plisson makes ground before, AGAIN, Stade knock on and it's a scrum to Leinster on the halfway.
  • 21:49
    76 minutes gone
  • 21:50
    spencer How long is left
  • 21:50
    It's in the bag, Spencer.

    Sexton named man of the match by Ieuan Evans
  • 21:51
    Leinster down in the corner now with Nacewa skipping around tackles. There's another try here as the home fans roar them on to final flourish
  • 21:52

    IS that it?

    Healy looks to have crossed but we're going to the TMO.  

  • 21:52
    Wait, no we're not, he's given it!!   No doubt about that. Healy from close range.
  • 21:53
    Sexton keeps up the 100 per cent record as Dave Kearney replaces brother Rob.
  • 21:54
    JB Brilliant coverage. Thanks Carl - great result!
  • 21:55
    Stade are rudderless now, watching high balls drop and tilting at windmills. Time has elapsed
  • 21:56
    Thanks, JB.

    That's it as Nigel Owens calls a halt and the men in blue embrace as the secure yet another European trophy. 

  • 21:59
    Four tries to one in Leinster's favour. Had some issues in the frontrow early on and got bullied up front a bit. They can be thankful for some sloppy handling errors from Stade who had plenty of possession but, in truth, they were a cut above in terms of technique and executed their chances brilliantly.
  • 21:59
    Decóg Thx 4 feed, from Dub Airport - best ever Ryanair delay!
  • 22:00
    Mike moran Cheers mate great commentary
  • 22:00
    "Unbelievable effort from the whole squad, even the A team won today," says Heaslip, who must have been following text commentary while on the pitch.
  • 22:03

    Thanks folks, it's been emotional. A cracking final to get the weekend underway. We'll have Gerry Thornley's match report shortly. Slán.

  • 22:03
    Ger milton Super blues march on,great night collars up
  • 22:07

    Smashing scenes as departing heroes Sexton and Nacewa lift the cup against the backdrop of fire crackers and whizz bangers.

  • 22:09

    Nice touch, too, as Horgan points out, both players turned to their teammates to lift it the Cup, rather than posing for the flashing cameras

  • 22:10
    Ok, that's me gone again.  G'night and g'luck
  • 22:36