Ronan O'Gara's La Rochelle stun Leinster in Champions Cup final

A try by replacement scrum-half Arthur Retiere in the last play of the match secured a stunning upset
Ronan O'Gara's La Rochelle stun Leinster in Champions Cup final

Leinster's Leo Cullen with La Rochelle head coach Ronan O'Gara. Picture: INPHO/Billy Stickland

La Rochelle 24 Leinster 21

RONAN O'Gara joined Leo Cullen as the only man to capture the Champions Cup as a player and manager as his La Rochelle side defied their underdog status.

They needed a try from Arthur Retiere in the closing minutes to secure the French club's first major trophy as they broke Leinster hearts for the second successive season, having knocked them out in last year's semi-final.

La Rochelle's Arthur Retiere is tackled by Leinster's Josh van der Flier and Robbie Henshaw. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo
La Rochelle's Arthur Retiere is tackled by Leinster's Josh van der Flier and Robbie Henshaw. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Leo Cullen's side weren't at their blistering best, or weren't allowed to be, but still could have snatched a win at Stade Velodrome in Marseille until the dramatic finale. 

Leinster didn't manage to cross over for a try, scoring seven penalties, due to poor La Rochelle discipline but ultimately that didn't prevent Munster legend Ronan O'Gara from getting his hands on the European Cup again.

La Rochelle's Dillyn Leyds and Thomas Lavault celebrate. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo
La Rochelle's Dillyn Leyds and Thomas Lavault celebrate. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

LEINSTER: Hugo Keenan; Jimmy O'Brien, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Johnny Sexton (c), Jamison Gibson Park; Andrew Porter, Rónan Kelleher, Tadhg Furlong, Ross Molony, James Ryan, Caelan Doris, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan.

Subs: Dan Sheehan, Cian Healy, Michael Ala'alatoa, Joe McCarthy, Rhys Ruddock, Luke McGrath, Ross Byrne, Ciaran Frawley.

La ROCHELLE: Brice Dulin; Dillyn Leyds, Jérémy Sinzelle, Jonathan Danty, Raymond Rhule; Ihaia West, Thomas Berjon; Dany Priso, Pierre Bourgarit, Uini Atonio; Thomas Lavault, Will Skelton; Wiaan Liebenberg, Matthias Haddad, Grégory Alldritt (c).

Subs: Facundo Bosch, Reda Wardi, Joel Sclavi, Romain Sazy, Remi Bourdeau, Arthur Retiere, Levani Botia, Jules Favre.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (RFU)

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