RaboDirect PRO 12
Two-try Shane Williams spoils Leinster's double dream
Leinster 30-31 Ospreys
Only a single point separated Leinster from their dream of a Rabo12/Heineken Cup double and it was Shane Williams that had the last laugh in his last ever game of rugby.
Having lost out to Munster at the same stage last year, Leinster seemed determined to secure the double this season and they went oh so close, with a Williams try and a nerveless Dan Biggar conversion in squeaky bum time winning the day for the Welsh side.
It was the first time since the 25th minute of an enthralling final that Ospreys had held the lead and although it was a devastating blow for the Heineken Cup champions, it seemed fitting that it was Williams – such an outstanding player throughout his distinguished career – that put the final nail in Leinster’s coffin.
As they have done to so many opponents throughout the season, Leinster could never shake the Welsh side off, with Williams (2) and Ashley Beck responding to touchdowns from Sean Cronin and two from the outstanding Isa Nacewa, one of which came straight from a kick-off.
Leading by nine points with only ten minutes to go after Nacewa’s second try, Leinster were left to rue the sin-binning of Nathan White as the Ospreys scored ten points during that period. Williams went over in the right corner after a period of extended pressure, while Biggar showed that he is in possession of balls befitting his surname with an ice-cool conversion from the touchline to hand the Ospreys the title.
It is the Welsh side’s second title in three years (they beat Leinster at the same venue two years ago) and fourth overall (a record), while for all Leinster’s recent success, they won’t want to be reminded of the fact that this is their third successive final loss in as many years.
Still, on the plus side, having tapered down the partying all week, at least the players and management can now fully celebrate THAT brilliant Heineken Cup Final victory over Ulster last weekend.