Leinster player ratings vs Toulouse


Leinster player ratings live from the Tottenham Stadium: A fifth star on their shirt or confirmation that they are Tottenham Rugby after a third successive defeat in the European Champions Cup final. That was the final scoreline Leinster faced in London on Saturday afternoon in this Investec-sponsored decider.

In the end, the final result came out brutal, with Ireland frustratingly succumbing 31-22 after a mad extra-time session, after a 15-minute stoppage of normal time and no try.

Unfortunately, they can only blame themselves. Too many penalty kicks were kicked into the corner for loose attempts and not over the goalposts for points scored in normal time.

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This strategy left them behind on the scoreboard for 42, seven minutes and a seven-minute second during regulation 80 as they leveled the game for only the third time in 78 minutes and then watched substitute Ciaran Frawley pull a goal back in the dying moments. In order to win left and wide.

Then came extra time and a much looser contest. Leinster looked dead and buried when James Lowe's yellow for a deliberate kick led to Toulouse scoring the opening try 108 seconds later.

Combinations

Investec Champions Cup

Leinster

Toulouse

The French expanded this difference to 10 points and were about to raise their score to 13 points Thomas Ramos on the tee only for referee Matthew Carley to send off Rory Arnold instead for headbutting Cian Healy.

This resulted in the opening extra time period lasting until the 14th minute and only ending after Lowe returned and Josh van der Flier converted a try to leave the half-time score just 25-22 to Toulouse.

The trophy was now very much up for Leinster to win in the second half, but they inexplicably faded, being held in the rocks as Keelan breached Doris and Healy to allow Ramos to kick the crucial points. Here are the Leinster player ratings:

15. Hugo Keenan – 6
One of three changes to the starting line-up since the semi-final, there was early rust evident in an uncharacteristic spill in the opposition 22. But he stuck it out with tenacity, and his eagerness to fight tooth and nail for his team was evident in a knockdown salvo late in the half. The second was when he was chasing a kick with Leinster three points behind.

14. Jordan Larmour – 6
He deserved his start, and although his involvement for an extended period was severely limited, he will be remembered for doing enough to put Matthijs Lebel in touch when he thought he had scored after conceding a cross kick in the 69th minute. That was brave because he had stabbed himself in the shoulder moments before. Only halfway. Unfortunately, he was unable to close the gate in the third minute of extra time as Leibel exposed the numerical advantage to Lowe sin-binning.

13. Robbie Henshaw – 7
It took him 24 minutes to come back alive. However, while his smash break was excellent, he was penalized with a non-release due to a lack of breakdown support. Don't bother. He continued to jump into the competition and was one of Leinster's standout players.

12. Jimmy Osbourne – 6
The biggest day of the youngster's career got off to a worrying start with the two penalty kicks that enabled Blair Kinghorn to put Toulouse six points ahead. He then stabilized and performed much better. However, the longer the final drags on, the longer the injured Gary Ringrose will be out.

11. James Lowe – 2
Everything he did in normal time, including decking Kinghorn to score a try ruled out by referee Carly for an infringement elsewhere that was inspired, was wiped out by a one-handed flap on Antoine Dupont's pass that saw him fouled at 1:10. Seconds of extra time. Leinster gave up 10 points in his absence.

10. Ross Byrne – 5
Hh never was and never will be an ideal replacement for the now retired Johnny Sexton but the best version of Ross Byrne is not achieved here. He tried to mix things up with a variety of kicks and some quick passes – one first-half cross that troubled Dan Sheehan near the try line was brilliant – but there were too many ineffective tackles and he limped off in the 70th minute.

9. Jamison Gibson Park – 6.5
The regular beating heart of the Leinster attack showed his defensive prowess just over a minute into the decider by managing to get on the foot of Dupont to cancel out the try. His energy playing away from the breakdown helped Leinster power their way into extra time, but in the end they did not have the ability to beat their opposite number and produce the match-changing moment.

Andrew Porter – 7
His shock collapse allowed Kinghorn to put Toulouse 9-3 ahead but they held on and it was his contribution to the set-piece penalty that called for Frawley to equalize and go to extra time. He only came out after 88 grueling minutes and even then reappeared for a few more minutes as Healy called for an HIA.

2. Dan Sheehan – 6.5
He brought the field to its feet after breaking a lung from his own half in the 29th minute after colliding with Dupont. He was agonizingly unsupported when it came to the collapse that followed when he was tackled five meters out. A generally good lineup ran through 70 minutes.

3. Tadhg Furlong – 6
It lasted 70 years, like its bitch, but it was an old slog filled with a lot of unappreciated grunt work.

4. Joe McCarthy – 7
He thought he had a try in the 15th minute but Jason Jenkins coolly hit the ball and it was immediately ruled out. His athleticism shone on several occasions, but it was not enough to wear down Toulouse.

5. Jason Jenkins – 4
A surprise signing ahead of a resurgent James Ryan, and there were questions about whether he was the best fit for the job. He was not shy about collisions, but his hands on the ball were not accurate and the pain he felt when he was turned over caused him to limp in the tunnel at half-time and he did not return in the second half. Choosing him was a gamble that didn't really work out.

6. Ryan Byrd – 6.5
He had an all-court performance that included clearing one kick in the first half while also being at the heart of a number of swing tackles that kept Leinster alive during the hour he played before making way for Jack Coonan.

7. Will Connors – 6.5
Named ahead of Van der Flier, World Rugby's Player of the Year for 2022, the chopper was leading his side's tackles when he was pegged back in the 45th minute. He played a defensive role in an arm-wrestling breakdown to keep them in the fight.

8. Kellan Doris – 6.5
A collision with Roman Ntamack was important in getting Leinster settled after a shaky start, but the captain's insistence on allowing penalties to go until the 22nd minute and not at the goalposts will emerge post mortem. His penalized foul then gave Toulouse the winning momentum in the second half of extra time.

Replacements:
Leinster went with a six/two strikers/backs split on the bench compared to Toulouse but their bomb squad tactic did not deliver the match-winning bonus despite having an extra-time try for Van der Vlier while Michael Alalatoa also did well in the 10-minute spell that led to To tie in regular time. Sadly, the missed goal to win the match would haunt Frawley.





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