In a heart-wrenching turn of events, Leinster lost the Champions Cup final to La Rochelle for the second year in a row. Despite leading 17-0 in the first half, Leinster couldn’t hold back La Rochelle who made an impressive comeback and won by one point with a score of 27-26.
The Agony of Defeat: Leo Cullen on Leinster’s Disappointing Performance
The loss was particularly devastating for Leinster head coach Leo Cullen who described it as “devastation is probably the word.” Speaking after the game, he praised both teams’ efforts but acknowledged that his side lacked composure during crucial phases which cost them dearly.
“It was two really good teams going at it and it was always going to go down to little moments,” said Cullen. “We were so close and at the end we just lacked a little bit of composure.”
A Frustrating Finish to an Otherwise Strong Season
This latest defeat prolongs Leinster’s wait for their fifth title. It also caps off a disappointing finish to their season following last week’s United Rugby Championship semi-final loss to Munster.
Tadhg Furlong Reflects on Third Final Lost in Row
Prop Tadhg Furlong spoke candidly about his disappointment after losing three finals in a row:
“It hurts, it really hurts. I am so disappointed for the fans,” said Furlong. “It is third final in a row we have lost, it is not great.”
La Rochelle’s Impressive Comeback
Credit must be given to La Rochelle who completed the biggest comeback in Champions Cup final history when Georges-Henri Colombe crossed late in the game to give them the lead for the first time.
The Pain of Losing at Home
All Leinster players were present with their friends and family which made this latest loss particularly heartbreaking.
“All the players were here in front of their friends and family, so it’s a hard one,” Cullen added.