Saracens 20 Leinster 10: Leinster player ratings

Gavin Cummiskey rates the Leinster performances as they are beaten at St James’ Park

Rob Kearney makes a break. Photo: Gary Carr/Inpho

Rob Kearney makes a break. Photo: Gary Carr/Inpho

 

Rob Kearney

Swashbuckling run leading to Tadhg Furlong’s try surely earns Ireland’s most decorated fullback, age 33, a dip into Leinster’s budget to keep him wearing a blue jersey into 2020. Stood tall against the flowing tide. Rating: 7

Jordan Larmour

Cleaned up several areas of his game with decent fielding and composure when scrambling for ball kicked in behind. No room to dazzle. Barely any oxygen to breath. Rating: 6

Garry Ringrose

Ringrose spurned a five against two advantage on 46 minutes when Jordan Lamour and others were screaming for the pass to finish a certain Leinster try with the game locked at 10-10. Seconds later Liam Williams landed an absolutely vital man and ball tackle to deny another five points. Rating: 4

Leinster’s Robbie Henshaw in action. Photo: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.
Leinster’s Robbie Henshaw in action. Photo: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.

Robbie Henshaw

Owen Farrell wrapped the arms to put a thumping end of days tackle on him with 76 minutes clocked. Brad Barritt’s 28 tackles left no doubt about the superior inside centre in this game. Rating: 5

James Lowe

Bashed backwards on several occasions as he sought combat with the mightiest Saracens in a contest that will be remembered for the world class contributions of his opposite winger, Liam Williams. Rating: 4

Johnny Sexton

The playmaker should never be making 14 tackles, one more than Henshaw and O’Brien. Played to the bitter end despite a painful arm. The reward for such bravery was meeting the full force of George Kruis. Recovered to gather the Leinster circle offering encouragement for the road ahead. Rating: 6

Luke McGrath of Leinster kicks under pressure. Photo: Dan Mullan/Getty Images
Luke McGrath of Leinster kicks under pressure. Photo: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Luke McGrath

Defensive contributions - saving two tries - sits alongside 10 tackles he made against New Zealand last November but the decision not to end the first the first half with Leinster leading 10-3 proved costly, very costly. Forced to play 80 minutes. Rating: 5

Cian Healy

Game of his life. Best loosehead on show (yes, Mako Vunipola was on one ankle). Turnover on 50 minutes in the middle of the field with Sarries piling coal on the fire kept the dream alive. Jack McGrath understandably looked rusty. Rating: 8

Seán Cronin

Hard to fault this effort and proved, once again in a blue jersey, that he must be Rory Best’s understudy at the World Cup. The carries when Leinster were riding the crest of a wave made valuable dents. Rating: 6

Tadhg Furlong reacts as he scores the first try. Photo: Getty Images
Tadhg Furlong reacts as he scores the first try. Photo: Getty Images

Tadhg Furlong

Savage 40 minutes, above any tighthead display witnessed for many, many years, but impossible to keep that up. George Kruis dispossessed him on 43 minutes as Leinster thundered into Saracens. Only able to give a valiant 69 minutes. Andrew Porter desperately missed for the last 20. Rating: 7

Devin Toner

Leinster and Ireland simply cannot do without his ability to secure restarts but elite second row wars against generational players like Skelton, Kruis, Maro Itoje and Ryan was beyond him. Rating: 5

Leinster’s James Ryan in action. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho
Leinster’s James Ryan in action. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

James Ryan

We’ll let his insanely impressive statistics speak for themselves - 22 carries for 24 metres and 20 tackles - but for the third time in Ryan’s young life a pack of monstrous English forwards dominated his Irish team. The others? Under-20s World Cup final in 2016 and February at the Aviva stadium. If anyone can figure them out . . . Rating: 8

Scott Fardy

The sin bin could arguably add a mark to his name as it forced Saracens to settle for three rather than seven points. A 37th minute turnover deep in the Leinster 22 worth its weight in gold but he was unable to dominate in the face of Itoje. Rating: 6

Seán O’Brien

Twelve carries for one metre gained. Dan Leavy made the difference in this fixture last season. Battled hard but comparisons are cruel and inevitable as O’Brien at his peak dominated the 2011 and 2012 finals. Rating: 5

Leinster’s Jack Conan is tackled by Alex Lozowski and Brad Barritt. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho
Leinster’s Jack Conan is tackled by Alex Lozowski and Brad Barritt. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Jack Conan

Undoubtedly made his presence felt with 17 carries for 23 metres and 22 tackles. Remains in the driving seat to become an Ireland starter. But, still, he was the second best number eight on this field behind the magnificent, all consuming Billy Vunipola. Rating: 7

Bench

Rhys Ruddock made some tackles but, otherwise, no impact. None at all when it was needed more than ever. Rating: 3

Coach

The Saracens pack took this Champions Cup final outside the influence of coaches. Rating: 3

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