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Saturday 21 January 2017

Heineken Cup final key battles

Published 20/05/2011 | 13:13

Leinster and Northampton clash in the 2011 Heineken Cup final at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium tomorrow.

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Here we look at three of the key individual battles.

Jonathan Sexton (Leinster) v Stephen Myler (Northampton)

Given that 10 out of the last 11 Heineken Cup finals have been decided by one score or less, rival goalkickers Sexton and Myler have huge roles to play. Both fly-halves are outstanding marksmen, although both can sometimes be flaky under pressure, but Sexton's greater experience of the bigger stage courtesy of regular Test match rugby and a previous Heineken final might just give him an edge.

Cian Healy (Leinster) v Brian Mujati (Northampton)

If Northampton are going to be crowned European champions for the first time since 2000, then they will need to showcase their trademark scrummaging power, which is where South African tighthead prop Mujati comes into his own. Saints are pushovers for no team up-front, and it will be Mujati's job to make life as uncomfortable as possible for Leinster and Ireland loosehead Healy.

Jamie Heaslip (Leinster) v Roger Wilson (Northampton)

Ireland star Heaslip is in the form of his life, repeatedly hitting the heights in a Test match shirt or Leinster's colours. The number eight's astonishing work-rate and enviable footballing skills make him a handful for any opponent, but Ulsterman Wilson has proved one of Northampton's unsung heroes this season, putting in one top-drawer display after another. A head-to-head that is almost worth the admission on its own.



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