Tuesday 21 May 2019

'The biggest battle of our careers' - Johnny Sexton switches focus to Saracens showdown after emphatic semi-final win

Jonathan Sexton of Leinster celebrates with team-mate Rob Kearney after the Heineken Champions Cup Semi-Final match between Leinster and Toulouse at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Jonathan Sexton of Leinster celebrates with team-mate Rob Kearney after the Heineken Champions Cup Semi-Final match between Leinster and Toulouse at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Leinster out-half Johnny Sexton says that the Champions Cup final against Saracens will be the 'biggest battle' of his career.

Both sides enjoyed comprehensive semi-finals victories, with Leinster blowing away Toulouse at the Aviva Stadium with an impressive 30-12 victory 24 hours after Saracens dominated Munster at the Ricoh Arena.

Leinster are the reigning champions - beating Saracens in the quarter-final en route to glory last season - with the English giants claiming the title in 2016 and 2017, which sets up a mouthwatering finale in Newcastle on May 11.

Sexton, who picked up the Man of the Match award in his first Leinster appearance of 2019, spoke to Sinead Kissane on Virgin Media after the game and summed up how tough it will be to win a fifth Champions Cup.

"We spoke a little bit about that, not too much," Sexton said of becoming the first side to win five European crowns.

"Toulouse have four stars on their jersey, Saracens have two and if they get another one they won't be too far behind us. They are a fantastic team. You saw them yesterday, how they dominated Munster. We are going to be up against it. We'll prepare now for the biggest battle of our careers."

Leinster were in control from the off, producing their best performance of the season to pull away from a side who are in control at the top of the French league. Sexton felt that Leinster's relentlessness was the most impressive aspect of their victory.

"The ruthless element, how we stayed on it," Sexton said.

"We know they can score tries from anywhere and we just kept building on the lead. It was very impressive by us."

"It is amazing for all the supporters here today.

"To go to another Heineken Cup final is dream come true stuff. I never thought I'd play in one, let alone five. It's very special but we don't play to get to finals, we play to try and win things. Hopefully we can go one step further."

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