Leinster romp to a third Heineken crown. Here's how it happened
Leinster put on a real show at Twickenham today, crushing Ulster 42-14 in the Heineken Cup final. Here’s how it unfolded.
So, it’s all over for another year. Ulster were not nearly as bad as the score line suggests but one too many small mistakes cost them. Leinster, when they got into their stride, were clinical and flawless. They win back to back titles, they go ahead of Munster in the Heineken Cup tally and they still have a PRO12 final to look forward to. What a team.
Thanks for staying with us this afternoon and we will be back with our live blogs, starting with Ireland’s Euro 2012 warm-up game against Bosnia next Saturday. Talk to you then.
And don't forget next year's final is in Dublin. Three-in-a-row? You can bet these guys want it
Leinster go up to lift the cup. Three times a champion. Add in Katie Taylor and it's not a bad day for the east coast.
Sean O'Brien and Brian O'Driscoll interviewed on the pitch. Both talk about doing it again, which is phenomenal and a bit scary. BOD also takes time out to mention the injured duo of Eoin O'Malley and Luke Fitzgerald. Class act.
Shots of Paddy Wallace crying on the pitch shows what it meant to Ulster. That sort of defeat will take a long while to get over.
Leinster celebrate on the pitch as Ulster look shell shocked. That was brutally efficient in the end.
You'd have to feel sorry for the 14 men of Ulster. McFadden kicks the extras. 42-14. Wow, what a win. It's over.
And now they do. Sean Cronin adds another try. That's five. A mauling and yet another forward try.
Leinster nearly score another as the bench begin to celebrate. The gulf in class is very apparent now.
Leinster now have scored more points than any team ever in the Heineken Cup final and it is also the biggest winning margin. Sean O'Brien gets Man Of The Match award from Stuart Barnes. Turned out to be quite a good day for Leisnter. eh?
Only Leinster fans singing now. They seem to want the bonus point try. And they get it! Van Der Merwe, another forward with the icing on a very delicious cake.
That's six out of seven for Sexton as he goes off and Leinster empty the bench. It is soon going to be three out of four in the Heineken for Leinster.
And he does it. Start etching the name on the trophy ERC...
O'Driscoll is coming back on. This looks to be all over bar the shouting. Ulster haven't been bad but one too many mistakes. And that is now compounded as Terblanche commits a very stupid, and dangerous, tip tackle on Sean Cronin. Yellow card and Sexton is lining up a killer penalty.
The ball is once again in the Ulster half. Leinster look to be in complete control of this now.
Humphreys injured and off, Paul Marshall on so Pienaar moves to 10. Not ideal for Ulster.
Sexton kicks another penalty through the posts. Gap out to 13. Probably should mention now I backed Leinster to win by 1-12 points. Not happy.
Brian O'Driscoll limps off, and it looks like his injured knee is at him. In comes Dave kearney. Willie Faloon on for Henry.
Very messy ruck but Owens rules it is okay and Ulster boot it clear after Brad Thorn lost it near the Ulster line. Fourten minutes to go. Leinster appear to have upped it again.
All the tries, bar the penalty try obviously, by forwards today. It's a day for the big men.
Pienaar misses the extras. Grandstand stuff now. Shane Jennings on for McLaughlin. Heinke van der Merwe on for Healy too.
Ulster still have possession but they cannot get across the line. Hold on, Dan Tuohy has done it! Ulster try. Now we have a game. What a final 20 we have now. Ulster deserved that for their persistence.
Cullen off, giant Devin Toner on
Sorry it was a scrum and Wannenberg tried to do a Brian O'Driscoll type pass. It didn't work but Ulster still have possession, a lineout on the Leinster 22.
John Afoa has made a few darts at the line. Repelled each time but a head of steam is building up for Ulster. They need to get a try soon. Looks like another Pienaar pen and he is going to the corner rather than the posts. Owens threatens Leinster with a yellow next time they infringe. This isn't over yet.
Lest we forget those who are not here today...
From the restart Ulster infringe so Sexton can cancel out Pienaar's kick. And he does. Another set back for Ulster. Great kick.
Still 30 to go and the gap is back to 12 as Pienaar strokes the penalty home.
With the score in tries now 3-0, it goes without saying that Ulster need the next one. They have a penalty in the Leinster half now. Ulster need to capitalise on this half chance. Some boos from the crowd about an alleged high tackle by O'Brien on Trimble. It wasn't.
Court takes down a Leinster charge illegally and now Leinster lead by 15. Jackson off and Humphreys on but it might be too late.
Ferris carries the ball back into his own 22 and then passes to Jackson, who lashes it into touch, giving Leinster great field position. The nightmare continues. And now Nigel Owens has awarded a penalty try!
Scappy old start to the second spell, with a few mistakes and a bit of a midfield battle. Slow play by Ulster too at the back of the ruck.
No changes on either side. Leinster restart.
This time last year, Leinster were 16 points down. No need for Ulster to be downbeat. Teams are coming back on. Bet Jonny didn't have to say much this year.
Phew, that was a breathless stuff. That late kick by Pienaar was crucial and for all Leinster's skill, and BOD was magic in that half, Ulster are not out of it. More straight line stuff from Ferris and Wannenberg would help. And maybe Ian Humphreys too.
Pienaar is going for a long one for the final kick of the half. This would be a massive bonus. The Springbok is kicking from his own half but we know he can do it. And he did it. Wow. What a pen that was. Gap down to eight at the break. It's half-time. Grab a beverage and see you back here for the second 40 soon.
What a pass there by O'Driscoll to Sexton. More champagne stuff from Leinster. It's Blue Magic right now for sure.
Two minutes to half-time. That flew by.
Well the DG was the plan but Jackson's strike was awful. He was straight in front from 18 metres but he hooked it left. Owens goes to TMO but he was being very nice. Not a good half for the young No 10 so far.
Ulster up to the Leinster 22. Are they looking for the Drop Goal? Good Leinster defence but Ulster are getting closer.
Sexton adds the extras. Eleven-point gap now. Just saw a replay of O'Driscoll's pass to O'Brien. Fantastic.
And now a try by Cian Healy! Leinster steal an Ulster scrum, BOD sets O'Brien free and with just metres to go Healy rolls over the line. Clinical by Leinster.
A poor kick by Paddy Jackson from smack bang in the middle of the pitch goes out on the full and the initiative is handed back to the Blues.
Great stuff by BOD to escape Cave with a fabulous step and it earns Leinster a penalty after Andrew Trimble infringes. D'Arcy then knocks-on and the ball is back with the men in white. Ulster scrum.
And then, quick as a flash, Leinster snaffle a Reddan clearance and they're away. Super stuff by BOD and Reddan almost yields a try. End-to-end stuff before Isa Nacewa is put into touch. Magic rugby from both sides. Quality is rising.
After a great passage of play, where almost every Ulster player touched the ball, Terblanche is forced into touch near the Leinster line. Superb.
Now Sean O'Brien fumbles it. Not exactly a classic so far but my it's entertaining.
Ulster cough up another ball. Brian McLaughlin must be pulling his hair out after such a good start...
After more messy play from Ulster Sexton lines up his first penalty and it's a brutal effort. For a man with 82 per cent accuracy so far this year, that was bad.
Sexton converts so it's 7-3 to the holders.
Try for Leinster. That had to be close but Leinster won't care. That's against the run of play and a real kick in the you know wheres for Ulster.
And as soon as I say that Leinster strip the ball from Pedrie Wannenberg and after a few good runs and phases, Sean O'Brien goes for the line. Waiting on the TMO. Looks very close to a try...
A terrible kick by Stefan Terblnche gives Leinster their first attacking platform, a lineout on halfway. They knock it on. Not much good to be said about the holders so far.
Possession percentages; Leinster 18, Ulster 82. Wow.
First scoring chance. Another penalty to Ulster, just on the 22. Not clear from Nigel Owens what it is for but Ulster deserve it, they have dominated possession and territory. Pienar lines it up and... it's 3-0 after seven minutes
More good play from Ulster. Darren Cave makes a great break but somehow Cullen wins it back. Then Eoin Reddan's clearance is blocked. The Ulster men are well up for this!
Another infringement and Ulster have their first penalty. Pienaar decides against a long-range pop so he slams it into touch. Lineout time!
We're off and Rob Kearney claims a superb first high ball. However, Leinster knock-on and it's Ulster ball just inside the Leinster half.
Right, here are the teams.There is one change as RTE report that Isaac Boss has pulled out. He is replaced by John Cooney.
Leinster: R Kearney; F McFadden, B O’Driscoll, G D’Arcy, I Nacewa; J Sexton, E Reddan; C Healy, R Strauss, M Ross; L Cullen (capt), B Thorn, McLaughlin, S O’Brien, J Heaslip.
Replacements: S Cronin, H van der Merwe, N White, D Toner, S Jennings, J Cooney, I Madigan, D Kearney.
Ulster: S Terblanche; A Trimble, D Cave, P Wallace, C Gilroy; P Jackson, R Pienaar; T Court, R Best, J Afoa, J Muller (capt), D Tuohy, S Ferris, C Henry, P Wannenburg.
Replacements: N Brady, P McAllister, D Fitzpatrick, L Stevenson, W Faloon, P Marshall, I Humphreys, A D’Arcy.
And just before the teams run out, here's one last word from Leinster's most famous fan...
In case you were wondering if Leinster were feeling any stress at the prospect of trying to retain their European crown, look at this picture of BOD, Leo and Joe as they check out the pitch pre-game.
David Humphreys has just been reminded on Sky that Ulster have beaten Leinster once in their last 17 games. He looked in pain before saying that they had to beat them sometime...
Now Tyrone Howe, EU Referendum style, trying to balance out the coverage. Bigging up Stephen Ferris and Ruan Pienaar.
Will Greenwood giving Leinster some serious man love there on Sky. He's a bit of a fan of how they play to put it mildly and he is practically salivating as he goes through some of Leinster's trademark moves. Scary viewing for Ulster fans.
Here's an Ulster fan. Nice touch with the 'tache, whatever it is made of.
A fairly low-key opening to Sky's coverage there! Honestly, we might slag them off but they do know how to build up the hype, not that this game needed it of course.
We’ve waited a long time for this. We’ve looked at the head-to-heads, we’ve looked at the betting, we’ve looked at the facts and figures but we are now finally about to see what happens when Leinster face Ulster.
Welcome to JOE's live blog of the Heineken Cup final. It should be a fairly epic few hours so let us take you through the game, kep you up to date with all the action and hopefully bring you a flavour of the action at Twickenham.