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The 2012 Heineken Cup Final was the final match of the 2011–12 Heineken Cup, the 17th season of Europe's top club rugby union competition. The match was played on 19 May 2012 at Twickenham Stadium in London, England. The final was between Ulster and defending champions Leinster.[2][3] Leinster triumphed, with captain Leo Cullen becoming the first person to raise the trophy three times. The match broke many records, including the largest winning margin in a Heineken Cup final and the most points scored. It led to media reports suggesting Leinster were the greatest European club team of all time.[4][5]

2012 Heineken Cup Final
Event2011–12 Heineken Cup
Date19 May 2012
VenueTwickenham Stadium, London
RefereeNigel Owens (Wales)[1]



It was confirmed on 1 May that the match was an 82,000 sell-out. 7,500 tickets were assigned to each province for the final with a Leinster spokesman saying that demand for tickets had outstripped supply with Ulster selling their remaining tickets to new 2012-13 season ticket holders.[6][7]

Under rules of the competition organiser, European Rugby Cup (ERC), the winner of the Heineken Cup Final receives an automatic place in the following year's competition, apart from the normal allocation for the winning team's country. If the champion is already qualified through performance in its domestic or regional league, the cup holder's place (normally) passes to another team from its country.[8] Because Leinster and Ulster had already qualified for the 2012–13 Heineken Cup by their performance in Pro12, the fourth Irish place passed to Connacht. Leinster, the first team since Toulouse (in 2005) to make back-to-back finals, stood to become the second team, and first since Leicester in 2002, to win back-to-back titles.[9]



Leinster beat Ulster by five tries to one. Leinster flanker Sean O'Brien and prop Cian Healy scored first half tries and the team scored a penalty try early in the second half. Leinster's replacement prop Heinke van der Merwe and Sean Cronin both scored tries late on and Fergus McFadden converted Cronin's try, completing the largest winning margin in a Heineken Cup final. Leinster fly-half Jonathan Sexton scored 15 points in total (from three conversions and three penalties).[4][10]

The result represented both a record winning points total and a record winning margin for a Heineken Cup Final.[4] Leinster become only the second team to defend the title successfully and the first to win it three times in four years.[11][12]Leo Cullen became the first captain to raise the trophy three times.[13]


19 May 2012
17:00 BST
Leinster   42 – 14   Ulster
Try: O'Brien 12' c
Healy 31' c
penalty try 44' c
van der Merwe 76' m
Cronin 80' c
Con: Sexton (3/3)
McFadden (1/2)
Pen: Sexton (3/4) 51', 67', 73'
Report Try: Tuohy 60' m
Pen: Pienaar (3/3) 7', 40', 49'
Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance: 81,774
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
FB 15   Rob Kearney
RW 14   Fergus McFadden
OC 13   Brian O'Driscoll
IC 12   Gordon D'Arcy
LW 11   Isa Nacewa
FH 10   Jonathan Sexton
SH 9   Eoin Reddan
N8 8   Jamie Heaslip
OF 7   Sean O'Brien
BF 6   Kevin McLaughlin
RL 5   Brad Thorn
LL 4   Leo Cullen (c)
TP 3   Mike Ross
HK 2   Richardt Strauss
LP 1   Cian Healy
HK 16   Sean Cronin
PR 17   Heinke van der Merwe
PR 18   Nathan White
LK 19   Devin Toner
FL 20   Shane Jennings
SH 21   John Cooney
FH 22   Ian Madigan
CE 23   Dave Kearney
  Josef Schmidt
FB 15   Stefan Terblanche
RW 14   Andrew Trimble
OC 13   Darren Cave
IC 12   Paddy Wallace
LW 11   Craig Gilroy
FH 10   Paddy Jackson
SH 9   Ruan Pienaar
N8 8   Pedrie Wannenburg
OF 7   Chris Henry
BF 6   Stephen Ferris
RL 5   Dan Tuohy
LL 4   Johann Muller (c)
TP 3   John Afoa
HK 2   Rory Best
LP 1   Tom Court
HK 16   Nigel Brady
PR 17   Paddy McAllister
PR 18   Declan Fitzpatrick
LK 19   Lewis Stevenson
FL 20   Willie Faloon
SH 21   Paul Marshall
FH 22   Ian Humphreys
CE 23   Adam D'Arcy
  Brian McLaughlin

Touch judges:
  Romain Poite
  Jérôme Garcès
Television match official:
  Jim Yuille

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Nigel Owens from Wales will be the man in charge when Leinster face Ulster in the Heineken Cup final". RTÉ Sport. RTÉ. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Leinster dig deep to set up all-Irish final". ESPN. 29 April 2012. Archived from the original on 1 May 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  3. ^ "Pienaar steers Ulster past Edinburgh". ESPN. 28 April 2012. Archived from the original on 1 May 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "Leinster 42-14 Ulster". RTÉ Sport. RTÉ. 19 May 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  5. ^ "Leinster redefine Euro boundaries after third Heineken Cup triumph". BBC Sport. BBC. 19 May 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  6. ^ "Heineken Cup final 'sells out'". The Irish Times. Irish Times Trust. 1 May 2012. Archived from the original on 1 May 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  7. ^ "Heineken Cup: Tickets for final not an issue but cost of flights soaring". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  8. ^ "Heineken Cup Final facts and figures". ERC Rugby. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  9. ^ "Ulster and Leinster's Heineken Cup success puts focus on Celtic league". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. 12 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  10. ^ "Ulster v Leinster, Heineken Cup final: live". Daily Telegraph. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  11. ^ "Leinster claim back-to-back titles". ESPN Scrum. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  12. ^ "Heineken Cup final - as it happened". BBC Sport. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  13. ^ "Blue army toasts victory as Leinster heroes take Heineken Cup win in stride". Irish Independent. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012.

External linksEdit