Sport Champions Cup

Thursday 19 July 2018

Here are 30 images of sheer joy to enjoy over and over after Leinster conquer Europe once more

12 May 2018; James Ryan of Leinster celebrates after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; James Ryan of Leinster celebrates after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Leinster survived a nail-biting conclusion to win the European Champions Cup for the fourth time, edging out Racing 92 15-12 in a dour battle at Bilbao's San Mames Stadium.

Isa Nacewa landed the match-winning penalty in the 78th minute, but Leo Cullen's men had to survive a frantic finish at the end of which Racing replacement fly-half Remi Tales pushed a drop-goal effort wide.

Racing shrugged off injuries to fly-halves Dan Carter and Pat Lambie to lead twice during a cagey first half, Teddy Iribaren's two penalties being cancelled out by a Jonathan Sexton brace.

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

It was left to the retiring captain Nacewa to bring Leinster level, before an offside decision against Tales allowed the 35-year-old winger to boot the Blues to their first European title since 2012.

The Irish province now jointly hold the record for most European Cups won along with Toulouse, while Cullen is the first man to win the tournament as both a player and a coach.

Nacewa, Cian Healy, Sexton and Devin Toner all collected a record-equalling fourth title.

There were amazing scenes after the game. Here are some of the best images to enjoy over and over again:

Leinster Rugby's Johnny Sexton and team mates celebrate with the trophy after winning the European Champions Cup REUTERS/Vincent West
Leinster Rugby's Johnny Sexton and team mates celebrate with the trophy after winning the European Champions Cup REUTERS/Vincent West
Leinster Rugby celebrate with the trophy after winning the European Champions Cup REUTERS/Vincent West
Leinster Rugby celebrate with the trophy after winning the European Champions Cup REUTERS/Vincent West
Leinster Rugby celebrate with the trophy after winning the European Champions Cup REUTERS/Vincent West
12 May 2018; Luke McGrath, left, and Jack McGrath of Leinster lift the cup after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; Rob Kearney of Leinster celebrates with the cup after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; Jonathan Sexton of Leinster celebrates after the final whistle European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; Jordi Murphy, left, and Rob Kearney of Leinster celebrate with the cup after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; Jonathan Sexton of Leinster celebrates after the final whistle European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; James Lowe, left, and Jamison Gibson-Park of Leinster lift the cup after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; James Ryan of Leinster celebrates after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; James Ryan of Leinster celebrates after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; Rob Kearney of Leinster celebrates with the cup after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; Rob Kearney of Leinster celebrates with the cup after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; Jonathan Sexton, left, and Rob Kearney of Leinster lift the cup after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; Jordan Larmour and Andrew Porter of Leinster celebrate with the cup after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; Isa Nacewa and Jordi Murphy of Leinster lift the cup after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; Isa Nacewa, left, and Jonathan Sexton of Leinster lift the Cup and celebrate after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; Dan Leavy of Leinster celebrates with the cup after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; Dan Leavy and Luke McGrath of Leinster lift the cup after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; The Leinster team celebrate with the cup after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; Remi Tales of Racing 92 misses a late drop goal attempt during the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; Leinster players celebrate after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; Leinster players celebrate after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; Leinster players celebrate after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; Dan Leavy, left, and Jack McGrath of Leinster celebrate after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; Jamison Gibson-Park of Leinster celebrates after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; A general view of the scoreboard after the final whistle of the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; Dan Leavy, left, and Jack McGrath of Leinster celebrate after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
12 May 2018; Remi Tales of Racing 92 kick an unsuccessful drop goal during the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

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