Nacewa double guides Leinster past Racing for fourth Euro title

Sheri EvansMay 13, 2018

Wicklow man Leo Cullen made history today as the first rugby player to win the European Champions Cup as both manager and player.

Racing 92: 15 Louis Dupichot; 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Henry Chavancy, 11 Marc Andreu; 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Teddy Iribaren; 1 Eddy Ben Arous, 2 Camille Chat, 3 Cedate Gomes Sa, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 8 Yannick Nyanga.

Starting first-five Pat Lambie sustained a knee injury in the second minute, so French worldwide Tales, who did not feature on the team list in the morning, had to deputise.

A relieved and delighted Sexton, who has been with the club for all of its triumphs in Europe's premier competition, said: "We did it the hard way".

"We had some chances that we couldn't put them away and Racing rose to the occasion".

Leinster, boasting a host of players who helped Ireland to the Six Nations Grand Slam this season, came out of their shell on the quarter-hour mark, Jonny Sexton marshalling midfield in waves of attacks.

The 6-6 scoreline became 9-9 and 12-12 as Iribaren landed four of his five penalty attempts and Sexton finished with three.

Using flanker Dan Leavy as the main hitman for flat ball as Leinster played percentages around the gainline, the Irish started to make inroads. Leinster in front for the first time in the game.

Rob Kearney won his fourth European Champions' Cup medal with Leinster this afternoon.

Racing went ahead with an Iribaren penalty but Sexton levelled.

Racing, beaten by Sarries in the 2016 final, continued to impress after the interval and retook the lead through Iribaren, with Sexton's attempted long-ranger drawing howls of derision as it came up well short and wide.

Leinster responded immediately, Australian flanker Scott Fardy exploding down the wing.

When all hope looked lost, Nacewa kicked a penalty to equalise on 73 minutes, and two minutes from time Leinster took the lead for the first time in the entire final.

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