Toulon  winger Drew Mitchell: scored in the last play of the game to deny Wasps victory at the Stade Mayol. Photograph: Bertrand Langlois/AFP/Getty Images

Wasps travelled to the lair of the most successful side in European club rugby and came within seconds of a dramatic victory. No side has ever beaten(...)

 Rob Kearney is tackled by Mathieu Bastareaud during Leinster’s Champions Cup match against Toulon at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The other week Leinster had a bad time. Thrashed about on the French Riviera, a mere six days later they briefly morphed into enforcers. Pity they we(...)

Johnny Sexton tackles Ma’a Nonu during Leinster’s Champions Cup defeat to Toulon at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Inpho

Leinster 16 Toulon 20 The other week Leinster had a bad time. Thrashed about on the French Riviera, a mere six days later they morphed into enforcers(...)

Jack McGrath has been favoured in the Leinster frontrow to Cian Healy, who will be on the bench. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

As dead rubbers go, this is not actually a dud. For starters, technically speaking Leinster’s hopes of advancing to the knockout stages for the 11th t(...)

Toulon centre Ma’a Nonu runs at Leinster outhalf  Jonathan Sexton during the Champions Cup game  at the Stade Felix Mayol. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Toulon 24 Leinster 9 Leinster were brave and obdurate beyond dispute, but they will wonder what might have been had their performance been more acc(...)

New Zealander Maa Nonu in action for Toulon against Agen at the weekend: what Toulon are doing, while amazing to watch, is concocted in Mourad Boudjellal’s office. Photograph: Bertrand langlois/AFP

With the big picture barely sketched by Leo Cullen and Girvan Dempsey, a trip to Toulon is hardly the time for experimentation. This calls for an accu(...)

New Zealand celebrating in Twickenham after winning the World Cup. For all of Dan Carter’s magnificence, Ma’a Nonu was the key figure in delivering tries.Photograph: AFP Photo /Franck Fife

How will this World Cup be remembered? That question must be viewed from two perspectives – the champions and Ireland’s – because each provides vastly(...)

Sonny Bill Williams offloads to Ma’a Nonu, who shredded the Australia defence to score New Zealand’s second try of the final. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

New Zealand 34 Australia 17 So sometimes sport leaves no room for argument and does do perfect finales after all. The best team of the last fou(...)

Richie McCaw and Dan Carter hold aloft the Webb Ellis Cup after New Zealand’s win over Australia in the World Cup Final at Twickenham. Photograph:      Stu Forster/Getty Images

New Zealand 34 Australia 17 Simply the best, and perhaps now the best of all time. In any event, it’s hard to argue a case for a better team in(...)

 Michael Cheika arrives for the World Cup semi-final against Argentina at Twickenham. Cheika has led Australia to a first World Cup final in 12 years. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Listening to Michael Cheika calmly take all refereeing decisions on the chin, it’s been hard to equate this remodelled man with the coach who once ber(...)