©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

As it happened: Leinster v Ulster, Heineken Cup Final

Joe Schmidt’s blues were heavily fancied to retain their European crown at Twickenham and they did not disappoint.

We came from near, far and even farther to get to London for the Heineken Cup Final between Leinster and Ulster.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail, tweet @thescore_iepost a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Leinster 42-14 Ulster

Right! We’re 15 minutes away from the most eagerly anticipated Heineken Cup Final (for Irish supporters) in years.

We’ll start you off with the line-ups.

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, I Boss, 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.

To get you in the mood – here are some fond, cup-winning memories for both sides.

Leinster’s stunning comeback last year.

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And Ulster’s 1999 win.

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Darren Clarke was knocked out of the matchplay yesterday but his thoughts are on only one match today.

We’re underway and Rob Kearney is soaring already to take a high ball and set up a Leinster drive. Ulster forwards stream up and isolate him to give Ulster an early scrum.

Darren Cave burst straight up the middle and was 10 metres away from the line but got the ball hauled away as he was cut down in the tackle. Ulster making the early running.

Superb attacking breaks from Trimble and Gilroy force an early penalty for Ulster. Ruan Pienaar sizes up the posts from the lefthand touchline and slots it over to make it Leinster 0-3 Ulster.

Terblanche gifts Leinster an attacking line-out after skewing a clearance. The throw is lost – not a good sign for Richardt Strauss – and Ulster can clear if the scrum is solid. They can’t and the momentum switches to Leinster as they pound up the left wing. Good break by D’Arcy, then Kearney and Leinster are yards away.

TMO time already and has Sean O’Brien scored?

TRY! Yep, Sean O’Brien has got the first try. He barged through Wannenburg and Tom Court to touch down right on the line. Bit of a wait, as it was a close call, but definitely the right decision. Jonny Sexton adds the conversion and it is Leinster 7-3 Ulster.

Stephen Ferris is the culprit and Leinster get a chance to add to the scoreboard. Sexton’s kick goes left and wide. It was never on target. 17 minutes in.

Trimble and Gilroy looking like Ulster’s best options going forward. Leinster forcing their opponents back but O’Brien, on the charge, fumbles the ball.

Tuohy shunt O’Brien forward in the tackle and Wannenburg is playing like a man possessed. Terblanche is almost in at the left corner but he is dragged over the line. Another throw for Strauss. Dodgy, long throw but it connects with Heaslip.

Mother of Mercy, it’s all happening. D’Arcy hounds after a Reddan kick and gets up to the Ulster ’22 before finding Reddan in support. The scrum-half is yards from the line but Pienaar cancels the threat. Play darts to the left and O’Driscoll almost has Nacewa in. Ulster living dangerously.

Mike Ross is bested at the scrum and Tom Court does well to earn Ulster a penalty. Rory Best finds Afoa at the back of the line-out and Ferris takes on the ball. Paddy Jackson makes his first major impact of the game and it is negative. Kicks out of hand and straight into touch. Leinster get the egg back and O’Driscoll connects well with O’Brien. 30 minutes on the clock.

TRY! O’Driscoll and O’Brien combine well again and the Tullow Tank is just short of a second score. Leinster keep the attack going and Reddan finds Cian Healy, who batters through Trimble and Cave and barrel-rolls over to touch down.

Sexton gets a clean connection and it is Leinster 14-3 Ulster.

Paddy Jackson, you should have passed that ball. Real promising heave forward for Ulster but Jackson holds on rather than connect with Trimble. Play goes back to the left wing and Ferris tests Leinster. Jackson then takes a snap drop-goal right in front of the posts but it is poor and wide.

The difference of the game in a microcosm as Terblanche knocks on and Sexton performs a perfect wrap-around to connect with O’Driscoll. Confidence meets doubt.

Pienaar with his first monster attempt of the match. 60 metres out and a reverential silence. He nails it. Supreme. HALF-TIME and it is Leinster 14-6 Ulster.

Ulster needed that Pienaar kick to settle themselves but Leinster are looking lethal in attack. Sean O’Brien has chopped down Stephen Ferris three times already and has been immense. Brian McLaughlin may have to call Paddy Jackson ashore if he cannot exert his influence on the game in the opening stages of the second-half.

Sean O’Brien evades Ruan Pienaar and Tom Court to score the first try. (©INPHO/Colm O’Neill)

Ian Humphreys will be off to London Irish next season but he could still have a crucial role to play in his final game for the province.

Leinster have been so disciplined in the tackle and they avoided conceding long range penalties successfully for 40 minutes. They will be upset that they coughed up that injury time penalty, which was expertly slotted by Pienaar.

Here is that O’Brien try. Judge for yourself if it was touched down before or on the line.

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The second-half has begun. Leinster on the attack.

James Carr (via our Facebook page) thinks Jackson’s time is nearly up.

PENALTY TRY! Leinster steamroll up from the ’22 and Nigel Owens has penalised Ulster for deliberately tearing down the maul. Sexton slots the conversion to make it Leinster 21-6 Ulster.

Paddy Jackson has been replaced by Ian Humphreys. It has not been a great day for the young out-half.

Sean O’Brien with a high tackle on Trimble but no yellow card. Pienaar to kick. As for that penalty try – both Trimble and Court were guilty of hauling down that rolling maul.

Leinster 21-9 Ulster as Pienaar lands his third penalty. However John Afoa gets blown up and Sexton can extend the advantage again. Reddan wanted to kick for the corner but Leo Cullen’s calm, blonde head prevails and Sexton goes for the posts. No problem. Leinster 24-9 Ulster.

Ulster a pressing mercilessly here. John Afoa is so close but desperate Leinster defence makes the difference. Humphreys did great there with a cut-out pass that almost had Afoa over for a score. Penalty right in front of the posts but Muller wants seven points, not three. Scrum Ulster.

Wannenburg … no. The South African tried a flip pass off the back of the scrum but he knocked it forward. Ulster get another bite of the cherry as Best finds the jumper in the line-out. Paddy Wallace and Ferris are both denied before Cave gets to within two metres of the line.

TRY! Paddy Wallace finds Dan Tuohy rampaging down the left flank and it is not over yet. Great stuff from Wallace and Ulster deserve the score.

Conversion missed by Pienaar and it is Leinster 24-14 Ulster.

Record crowd of 81,700 (nice, round figure there) at Twickenham for this humdinger. 15 minutes on the clock and Leinster upping the ante. Brad Thorn has a pop at the tryline but he is held up and Ulster clear.

Could be game over here as Rory Best hears the whistle for going off his feet. Penalty for Sexton as O’Driscoll leaves the field momentarily. The St Mary’s College man chips it over to make it Leinster 27-14.

Lots of substitutions in the past two minutes but the headlines are Dave Kearney on for Brian O’Driscoll and Paul Marshall for Ian Humphreys. 10 minutes left on the clock.

This man loves the limelight – Brian O’Driscoll wants back on the pitch and he replaces Rob Kearney for the last seven minutes. Stefan Terblanche then gets himself a yellow card for a dump tackle on Sean Cronin. I never knew he had it in him. Sexton gets it and punches the air – he knows that has won it. Leinster 30-14 Ulster.

John Cooney comes on for a pretty handy Heineken Cup debut. The young scrum-half replaces Eoin Reddan, while Ian Madigan is on for Sexton. Five minutes left.

TRY! Sean Cronin sets up the flying Heinke van der Merwe and it is getting out of hand now. Highest score in a Heineken Cup Final but Fergus McFadden cannot add to it – Leinster 35-14.

Sean O’Brien named official man-of-the-match – he was stupendous today.

Amazing show of support from both sets of supporters and Ulster fans have done themselves proud today. So close to try number five as O’Driscoll and D’Arcy link up before the ball is spilled forward.

TRY! Hugs on the sideline but its not over on the pitch as Sean O’Brien slips in Sean Cronin to score try number five. McFadden gets the extras and the FINAL WHISTLE blows at Leinster 42-14 Ulster. Emphatic stuff.

Stay with us for the Champions League Final and the reactions, comments and ratings from Heineken Cup win number three for Leinster.

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