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Toulouse Triumphs Over Leinster in Thrilling Champions Cup Final

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In a gripping Investec Champions Cup final at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Toulouse edged out Leinster 29-26, thanks to three extra-time penalties by Thomas Ramos. This victory secured Toulouse’s sixth European Cup crown, solidifying their status as the most successful club in European rugby.

The match, a pulsating affair, saw wing Matthis Lebel scoring the first try in extra time for Toulouse. However, their joy was tempered when Richie Arnold was sent off for a dangerous clearout at a ruck. Leinster capitalized on the numerical advantage, with Josh van der Flier crossing the line to keep the contest alive. Despite Leinster’s efforts, replacement Thomas Ramos sealed the win for Toulouse with two decisive penalties in the second half of extra time.

Leinster had opportunities to clinch the match, notably when replacement Ciaran Frawley missed a last-minute drop-goal attempt in normal time. This miss proved costly as Leinster fell short in the final for the third consecutive year, following back-to-back defeats by La Rochelle.

The final was marked by intense, high-quality rugby. Toulouse, who last won the competition in 2021, initially took the lead through two long-range penalties by Blair Kinghorn. Ross Byrne responded for Leinster, keeping them within touching distance. Kinghorn’s selection over the reliable goal-kicker Ramos was a bold move, justified by his defensive efforts, including a crucial chase to prevent a Dan Sheehan try.

Both teams displayed fierce defensive resilience, with 14 French internationals and 20 Irish players contributing to a match that had the intensity of a Test match. The first half ended with each side adding another penalty, setting the stage for a dramatic conclusion.

Toulouse’s victory not only highlights their dominance in European rugby but also emphasizes Leinster’s recent struggles in finals. As the French side celebrated their historic win, Leinster was left to reflect on another near-miss in their quest for a fifth European title.

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