Monday, 30 April 2012

Ulster & Leinster in the Heineken Cup Final

Heineken semi-finals ended up very well for both teams from Ireland. The games were fierce, at a very high level and definitely worth watching.

Ulster-Edingurgh 22:19

On Saturday, second time in the history of Heineken Cup, Ulster team qualified for the finals. The Irish beat the Scots 22:19. Scottish team playing very ambitious game managed to keep the score close thourughout the game. Despite this fact, the Irish did better. Ulster team made less individual mistakes and proved almost unbeaten in scrums.  That was enough to beat a very demanding opponent. It's worth mentioning that all 11 kicks on posts were successful. The game, some may say, did not abound in spectacular situations, but you could still enjoy it. Both teams played tough and ambitiously which was especially visible in defence and rucks. Congratulations to Ulster and also well done to Edinburgh!

Clermont - Leinster 15:19

Sunday semi-final stirred more emotions than some horror films. From the very beginning the game was close. After 40 minutes the French were winning 12:6. Just after the change of sides and brilliant try set-up by Rob Kearney was followed by the only try by Cian Helay. Drop-goal increased the Irish leading by 4 points 12:16. The French responded with a penalty kick and they were only one point behind. The last 15 minutes were even more dramatic. Firstly, Jonathan Sexton scored an important penalty kick increasing the advantage by 4 points. TMO had to make a decision on the next penalty kick and it turned out it was a missed one. The score remained unchanged. The time was ticking and the French were attacking desperately to score in the last minutes of the game. They were very close to winning, a few moments before the end it seemed that Wesley Fofana would be the one to save the French when he placed the ball behind the try-line. However, the video proved that the points cannot be rewarded. The game in the last minutes was played just 1 meter away from the Irish try-line. The French did not succeed to overwhelm Irish outstanding defence. Leinster won, and at the same time increased the number of successful games to 14 in a row in Heineken Cup.