Sexton the puppeteer master as Molony shines


Relatively calm defensively compared to outstanding recent performances, largely due to Leinster’s dominance. Made an unusual fumble but, true to form, sent the 40,000 home even happier with a typically elegant last-minute try.

14 Jimmy O’Brien – 7

Could have put the slip-ups under Toulouse on a frantic start but opted to step in on Mattias Lebel’s tackle instead of going for the corner. A handful for the full 80 minutes.

13 Garry Ringrose – 8

Showed why there is no outer center to touch it, on this side of the equator at least. Big breaks, small breaks, grubbers and a center of gravity so low that at one point it seemed to be underground.

12 Robbie Henshaw – 7.5

Leicester couldn’t handle their controlled fury and neither did Toulouse. His first charge caused so much damage that it guaranteed an invaluable seven points to soothe the nerves frayed by Dupont’s early strike.

11James Lowe – 9

Siege Pistol Left Boot, Rumbling Run, Defensive Power, and some stunts thrown in for good measure. Two more tries make it 18 of 19 for the season. One more in the final will tie Chris Ashton’s 11 for most in a single campaign.

10 Jonathan Sexton – 9.5

The master puppeteer at his best, staging an exposition of how great players create great opportunities. Toulouse could barely touch him, let alone live with him. Would have been 10 out of 10 but for a slightly temperamental cross kick, aimed at a fleeing Lowe.

9 Jamison Gibson-Park – 7

He learned the hard way that it doesn’t pay to play fast and loose with his counterpart. Responded to the sight of Antoine Dupont disappearing into the distance with another high class performance.

1 Andrew Porter- 6

He’s had more comfortable afternoons in set-piece trench warfare. I watched a scrum fall apart and looked dismayed when referee Karl Dickson slashed him for a penalty kick to another.

2 Ronan Kelleher – 6.5

An accidental clash of heads forced him to an unstable exit for the mandatory test which he failed. It will be a real shame if it prevents him from finishing an impressive season in his first Champions Cup final.

3 Tadhg Furlong – 6

Didn’t last long but long enough to deliver probably the most sumptuous pass ever attempted by a tighthead, a perfect 25 yards. Maybe the gods thought he was above himself, hence the hobbling out.

4Ross Molony – 9

The only uncapped member of the starter pack but not for very long. Exceptional from set pieces and around the field, he delivered the crowning glory in the form of a majestic second down pass. Toulouse had been made like the proverbial kipper.

5James Ryan – 6.5

Not one of his most dominant matches but still more than enough. Hit tell-tale shots at critical moments, like stealing a Toulouse throw almost from the gripping fingers of the gigantic Rory Arnold.

6 Caelan Doris – 7

Scything early break sent holders back in such disarray that their predicament seemed beyond salvation. It would have been if the inside pass shot at Keenan had been a bit friendlier.

7 Josh van der Flier – 7.5

He wasted little time delivering his 12th try of the season, a try that took time after a heavy tackle. It was a way of letting Toulouse know they would return home without the trophy won at Twickenham this time last year.

8 Jack Conan- 7

His only embarrassing moment came ten minutes into the second half when Romain NTamack went down chasing his own grubber. The TMO searched for any sign of a trip, found none, Conan puffed out his cheeks and resumed his winning business.

Choice of substitutes:

Dan Sheehan, for Kelleher, 46 minutes: Immediate impact.


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