Following on from the recent success of the ‘A’ team in the final of the British-Irish Cup, Leinster’s first XV duly helped themselves to the Pro12 silverware for the second successive year. They may have come up short in the Heineken Cup against the formidable Toulon, but the east coast province have conclusively confirmed their ascendancy in British and Irish rugby once again.
Glasgow can pat themselves on the back for progressing to the final and daring to dream, and indeed four successful penalty kicks from fly-half Russell did leave the finale delicately poised at fourteen-twelve at the halfway stage.
However, in the end, Glasgow ran out of fuel and perhaps did not have the strength in depth to provide adequate reinforcements. Leinster by contrast could summon the likes of Sean O’Brien as a replacement for Shane Jennings who recorded a try in the final of this event for the second year in succession. It’s always fitting to see the league’s top-finished team win the subsequent knockout stage, and after a tally of two converted tries in each half, Leinster proved to be worthy winners.
The occasion will have been a bitter-sweet one for the unsurpassable Brian O’Driscoll who had to evacuate the hostilities after only eight minutes, but he did at least sign out of his illustrious playing career with another winner’s medal. It was also good to see his partner-in-crime Gordon D’Arcy round off the try-scoring spree. Meanwhile, pride of place should probably be allocated to the overseas pair, Jimmy Gopperth and Zane Kirchner who kicked fourteen points and scored two tries respectively. Now several members of the Leinster contingent must quickly recover from their champagne-induced celebrations and re-group for the small matter of two Ireland test matches away to the difficult assignment of Argentina over the course of the next two Saturdays.
Final result: Glasgow 12 LEINSTER 34
(Try-scorers: Kirchner (2), Jennings, D’Arcy)