A Leinster side, unchanged from the semi-final against Toulouse, lined out against a Saracens team filled with powerhouse performers like Will Skelton, Maro Itoje, and the ever-terrifying Vunipola brothers.

Leinster got off to an impressive start with Johnny Sexton slotting a penalty after just four minutes, and a converted try from Furlong on the half-hour mark put them in prime position at 10-0.

A turnover penalty, kicked by the infallible Owen Farrell, put Saracens back in the game. It looked as though Mark McCall’s side would have to wait until the second half for another shot at scoring, until a poor decision from Luke McGrath in the 41st minute meant the ball was kicked back infield instead of into touch.

Ever-resourceful, Farrell kicked down the line, before receiving the ball back off a lineout ruck and offloading sublimely to Sean Maitland who cruised over for a try that was easily converted by the number 10 that had created the momentum.

10-10 at half time.

Leinster made a few bursts from the outset of the second-half as some beautiful teamwork from Lowe and Sexton brought them back within range. Despite an overlap for Leinster on the left, an incredible tackle from Williams on Jordan Larmour dashed their chances, earning Sarries a penalty.

Shortly before the 60th minute mark, a number of hard-hitting runs from Itoje, Skelton and Billy Vunipola brought Saracens right onto the Leinster tryline, until Leinster’s second row, Scott Fardy, received a yellow card for being off-side. Owen Farrell once again stroked the ball over the bar, making it 13-10 to Saracens.

A Leinster penalty after a heavy hit on Rob Kearney placed them back inside the opposition 22, but an outstanding intercept by Billy Vunipola off a Johnny Sexton pass dashed their hopes. In the 64th minute, the Sarries’ replacement scrum-half unleashed the ball to Lozowski who flew down the left-handside, with Leinster stemming the tide just metres from the try-line.

A Saracens scrum quickly turned into a penalty as Leinster’s seven-man pack were forced backwards. Leinster then crumbled under a second scrum as Billy Vunipola picked from the back and powered over the line, knocking Rhys Ruddock, Sexton, McGrath and Lowe out of his way in the process, with Farrell once again converting.

As tight and as thrilling as the game was, Leinster never looked as though they had the individual power to stem the flow of a formidable Saracens side, who took a deserved victory.

It finished Saracens 20-10 Leinster at St. James’ Park.

-Daniel Potter