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Irish Winners

Leinster 2011-2012

Leinster Heineken Cup winners

Leinster 42 Ulster 14
Twickennham, London
Att: 81,774
Referee: Nigel Owens
Saturday 19th May 2012, 17:00

Leinster made it a memorable Heineken Cup hat-trick as they dished out a five-try 42-14 defeat to provincial rivals Ulster at Twickenham. Taking the title for a third time in four years, Leinster underlined their pedigree with a record winning margin in a final and they also became the first team to go through a nine-match Heineken Cup campaign unbeaten.

Leinster 2010-2011

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Leinster 32 Northampton Saints 22
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Att: 72,456
Referee: Romain Poite
Saturday 21st May 2010, 17:00

Leinster created another historic moment for Irish rugby at the Millennium Stadium as a spellbinding second half comeback against Northampton Saints saw them become Heineken Cup champions for the second time in three years.

Leinster 2008-2009

Leinster's Jamie Heaslip scores try against Leicester during the 2009 Final

Leicester Tigers 16 Leinster 19
Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Att: 66,253
Referee: Nigel Owens
Saturday 23rd May 2009, 17:00

Ulster 1999, Munster 2006 and 2008 and then Leinster in 2009. There were joyous scenes for Michael Cheika's Leinster side and the thousands of fans who followed them to Murrayfield as Jonathan Sexton's 70th-minute penalty edged them to a nail-biting win over Leicester Tigers.

Munster 2007-2008

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Munster 16 Toulouse 13
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Att: 74,500
Referee: Nigel Owens
Saturday 25th May 2008, 17:00

A try from Denis Leamy and 11 points from the boot of Ronan O'Gara secured a second European title for Munster in Cardiff. Behind the 16-13 score-line was a match of truly epic proportions.

Munster 2005-2006

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Biarritz Olympique 19 Munster 23
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Att: 74,534
Referee: Chris White
Saturday 20th May 2006, 15:00

Munster were crowned European champions after winning the Heineken Cup for the first time after winning a gripping final against Biarritz in Cardiff. Heartbreaking defeats in the finals of 2000 and 2002 had upped the stakes for Munster but it was a case of third time lucky after producing the performance of a lifetime.

A packed Millennium Stadium erupted in a sea of red after Trevor Halstead and Peter Stringer both scored tries to savour. And Ronan O'Gara kicked a perfect five out five to clinch an historic win for the Irish giants and spark wild celebrations that were heard all the way back in Limerick and Cork.

Sereli Bobo had given Biarritz hope with a try after two minutes and Dimitri Yachvili kicked 14 points - including three second-half penalties - as the French champions roared back late on. But after so many disappointments in the final - including the 2002 defeat at the same venue - Munster were not to be denied a thrilling victory.

They had to recover from the blow of conceding an early try to dominate the first-half of this tenth Heineken Cup Final. Biarritz had been criticised by some for failing to carry their thrilling form from the French Championship into the knock-out stages of the Heineken Cup. The French champions had managed just one try in 160 minutes, from Sareli Bobo, against Sale Sharks and Bath in the quarter-final and semi-final respectively. But it took them little more than two minutes to find a way through Munster's defence - and it was that man again, Bobo, who tip-toed inside the touchline to score.

Biarritz had Munster under pressure right from the kick off and when Philippe Bidabe shrugged off John Kelly on the narrow side, Fijian Bobo had enough room to squeeze over in the corner to stun the huge Munster contingent. O'Gara narrowed the gap with a seventh-minute penalty and then began the move that saw Halstead lift the roof off the Millennium Stadium by giving Munster the lead. Biarritz looked to have survived a red siege on their try line when they cleared their lines before Anthony Horgan raced onto O'Gara's neat chip. Jerry Flannery and Paul O'Connell burst forward before the ball was worked out wide for Halstead to crash over from close range.

Yachvili levelled the scores with 22nd minute penalty after O'Gara had added the conversion but that could not stop the red machine, by now in fifth gear. The power of the Irish forwards saw Munster rumble their way once more to within ten yards of the Biarritz line but it was a moment of thrifty opportunism that got them over.

Ireland scrum-half Stringer saw opposite number Yachvili out of position and left Serge Betsen grasping air as he rounded the blindside of the scrum untouched to score. O'Gara's conversion put Munster 17-10 ahead before the break and a second penalty gave them the perfect start to the second half. Yachvili kept a cool head to bang over two penalties of his in response, the second after Denis Leamy's high tackle on Imanol Harinordoquy.

That kept this final on a knife-edge with just four points separating the sides and half an hour still to play. Biarritz lost two key players in centre Damien Traille and skipper Thomas Lievremont to injuries but a fourth penalty for Yachvili narrowed the gap to a single point ten minutes from time. But ice-cool O'Gara was calm under pressure in front of goal as Munster held out until the final whistle.

Ulster 1998-1999

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Ulster 21 Colomiers 6
Lansdowne Road, Dublin
Att: 49,000
Referee: Clayton Thomas
Saturday 30th January 1999, 14:45

The voluntary absence of the English clubs in season 1998/9 meant Bath were unable to defend the crown they won in that 19-18 thriller, the 16 remaining teams taking part in four Pools of four. French clubs filled top spot in three of the groups but this was to be Ulster's greatest triumph in their history as they beat Toulouse (twice) and reigning French champions Stade Francais on their way to a fairytale final in Dublin against surprise French finalists Colomiers.

A capacity Lansdowne Road crowd of 49,000 paid IR£700,000 to watch a match for which the 'sold out' signs had gone up 10 days earlier. With a worldwide television audience estimated at over 36 millions, Ulster walked off with the spoils after a 21-6 victory to add their name to the roll of honour alongside Toulouse, Brive and Bath.

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