2012 Heineken Cup Final

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2012 Heineken Cup Final
Event2011–12 Heineken Cup
Date19 May 2012
VenueTwickenham Stadium, London
RefereeNigel Owens (Wales)[1]

The 2012 Heineken Cup Final was the final match of the 2011–12 Heineken Cup, the 17th season of Europe's top club rugby union competition. The match was played on 19 May 2012 at Twickenham Stadium in London, England. The final was between Ulster and defending champions Leinster.[2][3] Leinster triumphed, with captain Leo Cullen becoming the first person to raise the trophy three times. The match broke many records, including the largest winning margin in a Heineken Cup final and the most points scored. It led to media reports suggesting Leinster were the greatest European club team of all time.[4][5]


It was confirmed on 1 May that the match was an 82,000 sell-out. 7,500 tickets were assigned to each province for the final with a Leinster spokesman saying that demand for tickets had outstripped supply with Ulster selling their remaining tickets to new 2012-13 season ticket holders.[6][7]

Under rules of the competition organiser, European Rugby Cup (ERC), the winner of the Heineken Cup Final receives an automatic place in the following year's competition, apart from the normal allocation for the winning team's country. If the champion is already qualified through performance in its domestic or regional league, the cup holder's place (normally) passes to another team from its country.[8] Because Leinster and Ulster had already qualified for the 2012–13 Heineken Cup by their performance in Pro12, the fourth Irish place passed to Connacht. Leinster, the first team since Toulouse (in 2005) to make back-to-back finals, stood to become the second team, and first since Leicester in 2002, to win back-to-back titles.[9]



Leinster beat Ulster by five tries to one. Leinster flanker Seán O'Brien and prop Cian Healy scored first half tries and the team scored a penalty try early in the second half. Leinster's replacement prop Heinke van der Merwe and Seán Cronin both scored tries late on and Fergus McFadden converted Cronin's try, completing the largest winning margin in a Heineken Cup final. Leinster fly-half Jonathan Sexton scored 15 points in total (from three conversions and three penalties).[4][10]

The result represented both a record winning points total and a record winning margin for a Heineken Cup Final.[4] Leinster become only the second team to defend the title successfully and the first to win it three times in four years.[11][12] Leo Cullen became the first captain to raise the trophy three times.[13]


19 May 2012
17:00 BST
Leinster Ireland 42 – 14 Ireland Ulster
Try: O'Brien 12' c
Healy 31' c
penalty try 44' c
van der Merwe 76' m
Cronin 80' c
Con: Sexton (3/3)
McFadden (1/2)
Pen: Sexton (3/4) 51', 67', 73'
Report Try: Tuohy 60' m
Pen: Pienaar (3/3) 7', 40', 49'
Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance: 81,774
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
FB 15 Ireland Rob Kearney
RW 14 Ireland Fergus McFadden
OC 13 Ireland Brian O'Driscoll
IC 12 Ireland Gordon D'Arcy
LW 11 Fiji Isa Nacewa
FH 10 Ireland Jonathan Sexton
SH 9 Ireland Eoin Reddan
N8 8 Ireland Jamie Heaslip
OF 7 Ireland Seán O'Brien
BF 6 Ireland Kevin McLaughlin
RL 5 New Zealand Brad Thorn
LL 4 Ireland Leo Cullen (c)
TP 3 Ireland Mike Ross
HK 2 Ireland Richardt Strauss
LP 1 Ireland Cian Healy
HK 16 Ireland Seán Cronin
PR 17 South Africa Heinke van der Merwe
PR 18 New Zealand Nathan White
LK 19 Ireland Devin Toner
FL 20 Ireland Shane Jennings
SH 21 Ireland John Cooney
FH 22 Ireland Ian Madigan
CE 23 Ireland Dave Kearney
New Zealand Josef Schmidt
FB 15 South Africa Stefan Terblanche
RW 14 Ireland Andrew Trimble
OC 13 Ireland Darren Cave
IC 12 Ireland Paddy Wallace
LW 11 Ireland Craig Gilroy
FH 10 Ireland Paddy Jackson
SH 9 South Africa Ruan Pienaar
N8 8 South Africa Pedrie Wannenburg
OF 7 Ireland Chris Henry
BF 6 Ireland Stephen Ferris
RL 5 Ireland Dan Tuohy
LL 4 South Africa Johann Muller (c)
TP 3 New Zealand John Afoa
HK 2 Ireland Rory Best
LP 1 Ireland Tom Court
HK 16 Ireland Nigel Brady
PR 17 Ireland Paddy McAllister
PR 18 Ireland Declan Fitzpatrick
LK 19 Ireland Lewis Stevenson
FL 20 Ireland Willie Faloon
SH 21 Ireland Paul Marshall
FH 22 Ireland Ian Humphreys
CE 23 Australia Adam D'Arcy
Ireland Brian McLaughlin

Touch judges:
France Romain Poite
France Jérôme Garcès
Television match official:
Scotland Jim Yuille

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Nigel Owens from Wales will be the man in charge when Leinster face Ulster in the Heineken Cup final". RTÉ Sport. RTÉ. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Leinster dig deep to set up all-Irish final". ESPN. 29 April 2012. Archived from the original on 1 May 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  3. ^ "Pienaar steers Ulster past Edinburgh". ESPN. 28 April 2012. Archived from the original on 1 May 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "Leinster 42-14 Ulster". RTÉ Sport. RTÉ. 19 May 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  5. ^ "Leinster redefine Euro boundaries after third Heineken Cup triumph". BBC Sport. BBC. 19 May 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  6. ^ "Heineken Cup final 'sells out'". The Irish Times. Irish Times Trust. 1 May 2012. Archived from the original on 1 May 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  7. ^ "Heineken Cup: Tickets for final not an issue but cost of flights soaring". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  8. ^ "Heineken Cup Final facts and figures". ERC Rugby. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  9. ^ "Ulster and Leinster's Heineken Cup success puts focus on Celtic league". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. 12 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  10. ^ "Ulster v Leinster, Heineken Cup final: live". Daily Telegraph. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  11. ^ "Leinster claim back-to-back titles". ESPN Scrum. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  12. ^ "Heineken Cup final - as it happened". BBC Sport. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  13. ^ "Blue army toasts victory as Leinster heroes take Heineken Cup win in stride". Irish Independent. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.

External links[edit]