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Leinster coach 'devastated'

REACTION: Toulouse captain Antoine Dupont said lifting the Champions Cup trophy for the sixth time was just reward for the French club after losing to Leinster over the last two years.

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Toulouse beat Leinster in a thrilling 31-22 extra-time win to be crowned as kings of European club rugby for a record-extending sixth time on Saturday.

“We really wanted to win the sixth star after losing to Leinster over the last two years,” Dupont, who was also man of the match, said after the game.

“It is awesome to be able to win with this team,” Toulouse captain told ITV 4.

For Matthis Lebel, who scored in the first 10 minutes of extra time with a try, the victory took some of the edge off France’s failure to win last year’s World Cup on home soil.

“When one has worked for a long time together to win this, this sparks a lot of emotion,” said Lebel after Toulouse’s first Champions Cup final win since 2021.

“Everyone remained focused on this as a target despite the disappointment of the World Cup.”

Devastated

Leinster boss Leo Cullen admitted: “We had plenty of opportunities…We’re devastated we couldn’t get over the line.

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He added: “Toulouse was probably just a bit more clinical.”

“I’m absolutely exhausted, the boys put in a hell of a shift,” said Blair Kinghorn.

“It’s unbelievable, I’m lost for words. The boys dug in so deep and that second half of extra time was enormous for us.”

Saturday’s match was the first time the European heavyweights had met in a Champions Cup final.

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Scotland fullback Kinghorn, preferred to Ramos, kicked Toulouse into a 6-0 lead.

Leinster, rather than go for goal with a penalty, kicked for an attacking line-out near Toulouse’s line in the hope of scoring a try.

But, as happened several times, brilliant Toulouse defence kept Leinster at bay.

Kinghorn’s third successful goal-kick made it 9-3 before he was just short with a difficult 45-metre penalty and Byrne made it 9-6 at the break.

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