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European Champions Cup | Final
May 25, 2024 at 2.45pm UK
 
LeinsterLeinster
22-31
ToulouseToulouse
FT
Lebel (82')

Toulouse rally in extra time to win European Champions Cup

Toulouse rally in extra time to win European Champions Cup
© Reuters
Fourteen-man Toulouse win the European Rugby Champions Cup for a record-extending sixth time thanks to a 31-22 victory over Leinster in North London.

Toulouse were crowned European Rugby Champions Cup winners for a record-extending sixth time thanks to a 31-22 extra-time success over Leinster in Saturday's final at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Following a try-less opening 80 minutes - which was not short of unmissable action either way - Matthis Lebel finally crossed the line for Toulouse, who then went down to 14 as Richie Arnold saw red.

Leinster belatedly got on the board with the extra man at hand as Josh van der Flier just about managed to force his way through, but the boot of Thomas Ramos proved decisive as Toulouse conquered the continent again.

Ross Byrne and Blair Kinghorn penalties were the order of the day early doors, as Toulouse failed to cling onto their hard-earned advantages, but Ramos's successful kick with 10 minutes remaining would ostensibly be the pivotal moment.

However, Ciaran Frawley drew Leinster level once again at 15-15 in the 77th minute, but just two moments later, the 26-year-old fluffed an attempt at a trophy-winning drop goal, ensuring a nerve-wracking additional 20 minutes.

Leinster suffer final heartbreak for third straight year

Within just one minute of the extra-time period beginning, though a deliberate knock-on from Leinster's James Lowe saw him sent to the sin bin, and even though Ramos's subsequent penalty missed the mark, he added the extras after Lebel finally broke the try duck in the corner.

Another Ramos kick extended Toulouse's advantage to 10, but just before Lowe's sin-bin stint had run its course, Arnold's challenge on Cian Healy was deemed worthy of a red card, thereby giving Leinster the man advantage for the second extra-time period.

Leo Cullen's side did manage to make the most of their numerical supremacy in the 93rd minute, when a Van der Flier attempt was given after a prolonged TMO review, but Toulouse quickly came roaring back in a manner befitting their champions' status.

Indeed, two more Ramos kicks sailed through the posts for Ugo Mola's side, ensuring that Toulouse's name would be etched onto the Champions Cup trophy for the sixth time as Leinster experienced that familiar sinking feeling.

The Irish giants already had four honours to their name in the tournament, but they have now suffered three successive final losses, having also fallen to La Rochelle's superiority in 2022 and 2023.

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Leo Cullen, the Leinster forwards coach looks on during the European Rugby Champions Cup match between Leinster and Wasps at the RDS Arena on October 19, 2014
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