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Cooley man Kearney wins fourth European Champions Cup medal with Leinster

Cooley man Kearney wins fourth European Champions Cup medal with Leinster

"Racing are world class. Johnny Sexton said that it would be a Test match all week". On came Remi Tales but at least they could console themselves with Teddy Iribaren kicking them 3-0 ahead.

Racing, who made more of a contest of it than many had suggested they would and were level at the break, had to contend with the pre-match loss of Dan Carter to injury, while Pat Lambie lasted only around three minutes before succumbing to the same fate.

The successful kick set up an anxious closing minute, but despite working their way into drop-goal range, Tales hooked his effort wide of the left-hand upright and Leinster were champions again.

We couldn't get going in the game. I think it is satisfying that we have won in different ways throughout the season - there were times during the pool stages where we had to dog it out like against Exeter.

Leinster coach Cullen said he was "absolutely delighted" while acknowledging that it had been a "very hard day".

The French side made the better start, taking the lead on three minutes through scrum-half Teddy Iribaren after Leinster were penalised for a high tackle by referee Wayne Barnes.

It completes a dream season for the former Cooley Kickhams GAA player who was also part of Ireland's Six Nations Grand Slam in the Spring.

The tension would not fade after half-time as Iribaren's red-clad left boot sent over another penalty four minutes after the restart, Sexton responding 10 minutes later.

Sexton admitted that Leinster were totally thrown off their game plan by Racing 92 and had to come up with another way to win.

Using flanker Dan Leavy as the main hitman for flat ball as Leinster played percentages around the gainline, the Irish started to make inroads. Instead Sexton chose to tap quickly and Luke McGrath was isolated, allowing Racing to clear their lines. The 27-year-old former Brive scrum-half took the kick, showing flawless composure to give his side the first three points of the game.

Racing went ahead with an Iribaren penalty but Sexton levelled.

With 10 minutes to play, Leinster brought down a maul and it was the unheralded Iribaren, who previously played for Montpellier and Brive, who booted Racing into the lead with his fourth penalty.

Offside in midfield and Nacewa stepped up to, once again, draw his Irish side level.

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