Irish club Leinster lifted the Heineken Cup for the second time after coming back from a half-time deficit of 16 points to beat Northampton 33–22 at the Millennium Stadium, after Leinster piled on 27 points in 25 minutes in a dramatic finale.
REUTERS - A rousing second-half Leinster fightback helped the Irish club lift the Heineken Cup for a second time after a 33-22 defeat of Northampton at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.
Trailing by 16 points at halftime, flyhalf Jonathan Sexton led the second-half onslaught as the 2009 champions piled on 27 points in 25 minutes to take a 33-22 lead after a torrid first 40 minutes.
Sexton scored two tries on his way to 28 points, while forward Nathan Hines powered over for the third to put Leinster clear.
“We were shellshocked and needed halftime to regroup,” Sexton, the motivator in the changing room, told Sky Sports.
“I said ‘You see this all the time in sport. We have to believe it’s our day’.”
Captain Brain O’Driscoll echoed Sexton’s view that the halftime team talk drastically altered the course of the match.
“There were some choice words at halftime. We knew if we could hold onto the ball we could have them in trouble.
“Jonathan Sexton was a man possessed. I haven’t seen a second half performance like that …ever.”
Leinster’s success made it four wins for Ireland in the last six finals following their victory in 2009 and Munster’s success in 2006 and 2008, while 2000 champions Northampton were seeking to become the first team to win every game of their campaign.
Date created : 2011-05-21