Sun 13 May 2018 | 06:52

EURO CHAMPIONS CUP: Leinster player ratings

Leinster Rugby v Racing 92 (Final) - Highlights – 12.05.2018
Sun 13 May 2018 | 06:52
EURO CHAMPIONS CUP: Leinster player ratings
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Having been free-scoring on the way to the final Leinster were nullified by some resolute Racing defence. Isa Nacewa stepped up and nailed a 79th minute penalty to seal a dramatic victory.

Nathaniel Cope was in Bilbao for RugbyPass and gives his verdict on Leo Cullen’s team.

Leinster player ratings:

  1. Rob Kearney 7

Knocked on in the 35th minute when competing for a high ball, but that was an aberration as it’s an area of strength for the Ireland full back. Made the most metres from a Leinster player, with 89, but failed to make any notable incisions when he did get the ball in hand.

  1. Jordan Larmour 6

Showed his dancing feet in a tight space in the 26th minute when he came off his wing, but wasn’t given any chances out wide and was starved of ball.

  1. Garry Ringrose 6

Had the considerable bulk of Virimi Vakatawa to keep in check and he did just that. A game for the forwards so there wasn’t much opportunity for him to show what he can do in attack.

  1. Robbie Henshaw 6

Was exceptional on his injury return against the Scarlets, this was a quieter game, but stuck to his defensive task well ensuring Henry Chavancy couldn’t make a telling impact. Took a nasty bang in a collision with Louis Dupichot on the half hour, and shipped a high tackle from Remi Tales eight minutes later, but he’s certainly robust and dusted himself off.

  1. Isa Nacewa 8

The 34-year-old’s last European game. He slipped through Donnacha Ryan and Teddy Thomas for Leinster’s only notable break in the first half. He took over kicking duties when Johnny Sexton picked up a strain and slotted over two penalties, including the crucial winning one in the 79th minute, a fine way to bow out.

  1. Johnny Sexton 6

Opted to run when Leinster had a penalty in front of the posts in the 32nd minute, which proved to be the wrong call. Missed two kicks from distance in the second half, the first of which he won’t want to see again anytime soon. Handed over the kicking duties to Nacewa late on due to an injury niggle.

  1. Luke McGrath 6

Only back from injury and his box kicking game not at its best early on. Good service to Sexton but it was not a day where Leinster could cut loose. Jamison Gibson- Park, who was excellent against the Scarlets in the semi-final, came on for the last 19 minutes .

  1. Jordi Murphy 6

Departing for Ulster next season and he will be missed. Not one of his standout matches and was replaced just after the hour mark by Jack Conan.

  1. Dan Leavy 9

His bandaged up head illustrated he’s constantly in the thick of things. The top-tackler in the match, with an impressive 17, and a constant menace at the breakdown. He also topped the carries charts too with 17, as Leinster tried to punch holes in a stern Racing defence. Hard to find a better flanker in Europe based on current form.

  1. Scott Fardy 6

The Australian international was penalised in the 20th minute from bringing down a maul which cost Leinster three points and in the context of this match points were at a premium. He certainly has an engine, making a break down the right wing late in the match.

  1. James Ryan 9

Huge tackle on Virimi Vakatawa in the 24th minute, one of 12 in the match, as he got through an awful amount of work. Go-to man in the lineout too with six takes and even got a steal in 54th minute from Donnacha Ryan. 21 senior matches and still to taste a defeat, an incredible record.

  1. Devin Toner 8

Ireland’s most decorated second row and it was another solid performance from the 6’ 10” giant. Made his presence felt with plenty of carries and contributed 10 tackles.

  1. Tadhg Furlong 6

Not one of his most barnstorming performances, but dependable all the same, Leinster’s scrum was solid and the tighthead was crucial to that.

  1. Sean Cronin 7

There were no lung-bursting breaks from this speedy hooker, but the lineout functioned perfectly despite the wet conditions.

  1. Cian Healy 6

He has really returned to form this season and it’s no mean feat keeping Jack McGrath on the bench. Part of a solid pack effort.

  1. James Tracy 5

Had a lineout stolen by Leone Nakarawa in the 76th minute as he attempted to find Leavy with Leinster in a good attacking position.

  1. Jack McGrath 6

Replaced Cian Healy shortly after the hour mark and did no wrong.

  1. Andrew Porter 6

Leinster are blessed with two fine tightheads, Porter came on in the 65th minute and kept the scrum solid and was useful in the loose.

  1. Rhys Ruddock N/A

Didn’t come off the bench

  1. Jack Conan 7

Came on for Jordi Murphy and made an impact, notably him bundling Teddy Thomas into touch in the 76th minute.

  1. Jamison Gibson- Park 6

He tried to speed up the pace when he was introduced, but was another who found it difficult to break down Racing.

  1. Joey Carbery N/A

Didn’t come off the bench

  1. Rory O’Loughlin N/A

Didn’t come off the bench

By Nathaniel Cope, RugbyPass

PV: 2
Euro Champions Cup: Leinster Player Ratings | Rugby365