Leinster 10-20 Saracens: Champions Cup final player ratings

first_img Read more Share on Twitter LeinsterRob Kearney Mr Reliable under the high ball and it was his break down the right that eventually led to his side’s try. Subdued after the break. 6Jordan Larmour Elusive. Gave Billy Vunipola the slip down the right but could not quite gather his kick ahead. Poses a threat with his quick feet but starved of possession as Saracens fought back. 7Garry Ringrose So often Sexton’s go-to man as a second playmaker but wasted an overlap in the second half. Another who could not find any space in the face of such bruising defence. 5 Share via Email Rugby union Leinster Pinterest Cian Healy impressed for Leinster. Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images Pinterest Facebook Twitter features Share on Messenger Share on LinkedIn Brad Barritt, the Saracens captain, celebrates with the Champions Cup. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images Support The Guardian Since you’re here…center_img Share on WhatsApp Topics Twitter Share on Pinterest … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Saracens Facebook Share on Facebook Seán Cronin A fitness doubt in the week but started like a train, making tackles and hard yards in midfield. Could not add to his try tally but still ends the tournament as the top scorer. 7Tadhg Furlong Had been quiet until barrelling his way over the line for his side’s try. Slightly off the boil compared to the remarkable level he was playing at a year ago. 6Devin Toner His early dummy yielded a penalty for offside and made Saracens think twice about flying off the line thereafter. Great lineout tussle with Kruis. 6James Ryan Has a remarkable engine and left everything on the field, even his jersey in one five-minute spell. Topped his side’s tackle and carry count. Relentless. 8Scott Fardy Part of a huge counter ruck and an early statement. Won a key turnover too but in similar circumstances to Itoje was sent to the sin-bin and it proved costly. 7Seán O’Brien Desperate to finish his Leinster career with another European title but unable to affect proceedings in the way that he once could. 6Jack Conan Among Leinster’s better forwards and, though he was outshone by his opposite number, there is no shame in that. 7REPLACEMENTSJames Tracy (for Cronin, 51) First lineout was not straight 5; Jack McGrath (for Healy, 62) 6; Michael Bent (for Furlong, 70) n/a; Rhys Ruddock (for O’Brien, 62) 6; Max Deegan (for Toner, 74) n/a\SaracensAlex Goode Could not squeeze through the kind of gaps he normally does but that is to Leinster’s credit more than anything else. Organised well from the back. 7Liam Williams Dropped the first high ball that came his way but his mazy running style always makes him dangerous. Crucial tackle on Ringrose stopped a certain try. 8Alex Lozowski Made early ground up the middle and is much more physical than his frame might suggest, as key tackle on Conan showed. 8 Champions Cup Robbie Henshaw Not many frills but gave his all on both sides of the ball. Found himself in wide channels which is probably not where he is most effective. 6James Lowe Left out last year due to limit on number of overseas players and was determined to make amends. Always looking for work off his left wing. 7Johnny Sexton (captain) Kept on coming but found it increasingly difficult to prise open this relentless Saracens defence. Not quite out of dip in form. 6Luke McGrath On the money with his box-kicking and made an excellent tackle on Goode in the first half. Always under pressure, from Saracens’ forwards though. 7Cian Healy Some shift, legs always pumping away, making an impact in the loose and forcing turnovers at the breakdown. Held his own at scrum-time too. 8 The Observer Brad Barritt (captain) Gave away two early penalties – one deep in Leinster territory – but made a staggering amount of tackles. Led a remarkable defensive performance. 9Sean Maitland Not a great first half – Leinster had most joy down his wing but on hand to score Saracens’ first try to make the half-time team-talk that much easier. 7Owen Farrell A rusty start but the way he stepped things up as soon as his side fell 10-0 behind and orchestrated an emphatic response was hugely impressive. 7Ben Spencer A nervous start in which he flung one pass straight at the unexpecting Farrell. Improved but with England coach, Eddie Jones, in the stands it felt like an opportunity missed. 6Mako Vunipola Made way after half an hour with a worrying looking hamstring injury. Had not quite been himself up until then but did produce one lovely no-look pass. 6Jamie George Made a huge hit on Kearney. Wasn’t error free but, like Farrell, he rose to the task when Saracens fell behind. England’s leading hooker without question. 8Titi Lamositele Ankle heavily strapped and while he tried to soldier on he was withdrawn during the first half at the same time as Mako Vunipola. 6Will Skelton A brute. Arrived in considerable form and continued in the same vein. What a job Saracens have done by getting him in this condition. 8George Kruis Such an important part of this side and was an increasingly disruptive presence at the lineout. Remarkable 27 tackles including telling hit on Sexton. 9Maro Itoje Sent to the sin-bin for being offside twice when Leinster were camped on the Saracens line. A nuisance throughout, always sailing close to the wind. 7Jackson Wray The only uncapped member of the side but never looks out of place. Made the linebreak that eventually allowed Saracens to take the lead. 8Billy Vunipola Booed as he came off but colossal all match. Scored the decisive try – he had no right to – but he is a hard man to stop. Back to the peak of his powers. 9REPLACEMENTSRichard Barrington (for M Vunipola, 30) No complaints 6; Vincent Koch (for Lamositele, 30) Made a big difference 8; Nick Isiekwe (for Skelton, 52) 6; Richard Wrigglesworth (for Spencer, 56) Brought more control 7; Schalk Burger (for B Vunipola, 75) n/a Reuse this content Saracens’ Billy Vunipola bursts through to beat Leinster in Champions Cup finallast_img

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