Champions Cup final: Dan Carter on bench in Champions Cup final

Sherman Parsons
May 13, 2018

With Maxime Machenaud already sidelined, it was not the full-strength Racing side that boss Laurent Travers would so dearly have wanted in the showpiece as his counterpart instead became the first man to win the title as a player and a coach.

While Ireland stand-off Johnny Sexton starts at 10 for Leinster, Carter has fallen down the pecking order at his Parisian side.

Leinster went to the air to bring themselves into the game, but they spurned another visit to the '22 when Sexton turned down point to tap a penalty but Dan Leavy was forced into holding on by a brilliant Chat poach.

Leinster coach Cullen said he was "absolutely delighted" while acknowledging that it had been a "very hard day".

"I thought Racing were outstanding today, really put pressure on us at the breakdown". Still, they played until the death and Remi Tales had a last gasp drop-goal chance to win it but couldn't deliver.

"We stuck in there for the majority of the game, but big matches come down to big moments and we just got those wrong".

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Lambie was also the designated place-kicker, after scrum-half Maxime Machenaud was ruled out through injury in recent weeks, and was consoled by former Ireland global Donnacha Ryan as he left the field.

While a rich Racing do have players from over nine nationalities to choose from, Cullen's Cup-winning side boast the bulk of the Irish team that claimed the Six Nations "Grand Slam", something Labit was keen to highlight speaking after the game via The Irish Independent.

Racing's giant Fijian lock Leone Nakarawa was lucky not to be shone a yellow card after a deliberate knock-on with Leinster again on the front foot.

Racing went ahead with an Iribaren penalty but Sexton levelled.

Racing opened the scoring as Sexton and Iribaren traded penalties with the Irish province finding it hard to settle into the game in the opening 20 minutes.

Sexton and Iribaren traded penalties but also both traded misses from the half way line, Sexton twice.

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