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Heineken Cup | The Epic Journey

The Epic Journey

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Season 2010-11

Cardiff was once again the final destination for the Heineken Cup and four of the six pool winners were French. There were also three Irish clubs in the quarter-finals for the first time, but it was the champions of 2000, Northampton Saints, who topped the rankings with a perfect six from six in the pool stage.

Dylan Hartley's men then extended their unbeaten run to eight games as they became the first side since Brive in 1997 to go into the Heineken Cup final unbeaten. They defeated Ulster 23-13 at Milton Keynes in the quarter-finals and then Perpignan 23-7 at the same venue to set-up a final clash with Leinster Rugby.

After three wins in four games against the French duo of ASM Clermont Auvergne and Racing Metro, Leinster had an Isa Nacewa try to thank for their 17-10 quarter-final victory over Leicester Tigers in front of almost 50,000 fans at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

That triumph set-up a revenge mission against Toulouse, their semi-final conquerors a year earlier, in the semis. The Aviva Stadium was once again the setting and tries from Brian O'Driscoll and Jamie Heaslip, along with 22 points from the reliable boot of Jonny Sexton, carried the 2009 champions into a second final in three years with a 32-23 win.

The Saints marched into the Millennium Stadium in confident mood and three first half tries sent them into the break with a 22-6 lead. Cue the greatest revival in Heineken Cup final history in the second half as LEINSTER RUGBY launched a devastating blitz of 27 unanswered points inside 26 minutes. Jonny Sexton grabbed two tries, Nathan Hines got another and Sexton ended with a personal haul of 28 points to claim the Man of the Match award.

The Saints failed to score in the second half and went down to a 33-22 defeat as Leinster became the fifth team to win the Heineken Cup on more than one occasion joining Toulouse, Leicester Tigers, London Wasps and Munster. Skipper Leo Cullen also joined Lawrence Dallaglio and Fabien Pelous in lifting the trophy twice.

ERC TV | The Final
Most Tries
Paul DigginPaul Diggin6
Most Points
Johnny SextonJohnny Sexton138
Pool Tables | Heineken Cup
2010-2011 - Heineken Cup
2ASM Clermont640219
How the Final was won
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