Isa Nacewa is surrounded by celebrating Leinster teammates. ©INPHO/Colm O'Neill
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Joe Schmidt: I've been 3 years at Leinster and I'm 6 years older

The New Zealander was a satisfied soul after leaving the province with three trophies.

LEINSTER COACH JOE SCHMIDT has the summer holidays to build up his nerves again after the craziest two months of his coaching life.

The New Zealander has emerged from Leinster’s injury ravaged season with three trophies, an enhanced reputation and a new job – Ireland head coach. Schmidt plotted the province’s march to Amlin Cup and Pro12 title success while interviewing for the country’s top rugby position and convincing Brian O’Driscoll to listen to the ‘one more year’ chants.

Schmidt confessed, post-match, that his side failed to manage the final, nerve-racking quarter of a game his side, ultimately, won 24-18.

He told Leinster Rugby, “It was a pretty nerve-racking way to go out. I don’t think we managed the last quarter of the game. We gave them the ball back too many times. Ulster are too good a team to give the ball back to. Our defence was first rate today.

“We managed to hang in when they had a lot of pressure in the first half and in the last quarter we did pretty well. It’s a massive credit to the team.” Schmidt added:

It’s three years on, six years older. It has been nerve-racking quite often, for example today was no different. The Pro12 is very, very tough. It is a super competition. Anyone of the top six teams could have won it.

“When you do get through to the play-off games it is very tough all the way. It is phenomenal to have three trophies in the changing rooms at the moment (including the ‘A’ team’s British and Irish Cup). It is a massive credit to our players. We focused on our attack for the Amlin and focused a little bit on defence for this game.”

Fergus McFadden and Jonny Sexton give Schmidt a king’s chair. (©INPHO/Dan Sheridan)

Amid all the post-match revelry, Leinster centre Brian O’Driscoll paid a bowing homage to departing teammate Isa Nacewa:

YouTube credit: dirttrackersPodcast

As it happened: Ulster v Leinster, RaboDirect Pro12 Grand Final

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