Champions Cup Team of the Final: La Rochelle rewarded throughout as are the Leinster standouts
The Champions Cup came to a finish on Saturday with La Rochelle producing a stunning performance to recover from a 17-point deficit to claim a sensational 27-26 win over Leinster in Dublin.
With the final done and dusted, Planet Rugby takes a closer look at who the best players were in the prestigious final.
Team of the Champions Cup final
15 Brice Dulin (La Rochelle): A key member in a well-balanced back-three for the champions. Dulin covered impressive ground in the backfield and also with ball in hand, making 87 metres with his 10 carries. The star held his own at scrum-half, filling in for Tawera Kerr-Barlow during his sin-binning in what was a crucial period of the game.
14 Dillyn Leyds (La Rochelle): The South African was neat throughout the final and tried to make things happen with ball in hand where he could, including a clean break and an offload in a solid outing. His ball-playing ability is a helpful asset for the champions’ back-three.
13 UJ Seuteni (La Rochelle): The 29-year-old was rewarded for the beautiful lines he always runs with a try in the final as part of the momentum swing back in his team’s favour. He broke the line one other time outside of being solid defensively and a positive contributor all game long.
12 Jonathan Danty (La Rochelle): A monstrous performance from the hulking centre who showcased his brutal power with ball in hand in his side’s first try that kickstarted the comeback. The late yellow card is the only criticism of a big effort.
11 Raymond Rhule (La Rochelle): The 30-year-old’s aerial game was on show in the final in a performance where the wing looked to use his big frame in the outside channels. Rhule earns his selection in a match where the wings got few chances to shine.
10 Antoine Hastoy (La Rochelle): One of the players of the final and the architect of the sensational comeback. It was a calculated and mature effort from a star who had so much to do to get his team back in the game. Hastoy had two try assists and importantly was faultless from the kicking tee which proved the difference.
9 Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster): The Irishman rarely has a bad game and the way he picked his options for the three opening tries was a joy to watch. He did not have the same platform to work with throughout but his ability to create play with front-foot ball gets him a spot in our side.
8 Gregory Alldritt (La Rochelle): A true captain’s innings. The French number eight was the man of the match after an inspired performance filled with hard carries, tackles aplenty and two turnovers to match. He led from the front and his leadership was absolutely critical to his side going back-to-back. A notably brilliant effort from a star who seemingly can do no wrong. Leinster’s Jack Conan deserves mention for a strong performance.
7 Josh van der Flier (Leinster): Work-rate and technical prowess are a few of many words that can describe the star loose forward who was outstanding again. Van der Flier made 16 tackles at a 100% success rate whilst winning two turnovers in a committed effort.
6 Caelan Doris (Leinster): Another Irishman who emptied the tank in Dublin. Doris was absolutely everywhere, matching Van der Flier in tackles whilst carrying relentlessly throughout. The star is only getting better and better and he is a joy to watch for those who appreciate the real workmen of rugby union.
5 Will Skelton (La Rochelle): Despite being closely watched by Leinster throughout, the gargantuan second-row put in a world-class performance on the biggest of club stages. His physicality and influence on the La Rochelle pack is immeasurable and it showed yet again in Dublin.
4 Romain Sazy (La Rochelle): Another key component of the winning pack. The second-row’s work rate was very impressive as he joined his team-mates in finding a way back into the game.
3 Uini Atonio (La Rochelle): A critical figure in the powerful mauling from the French side as their powerful engine motored. Scrummed well throughout and carried hard when required. Another solid outing underlining his supreme quality in the front-row.
2 Dan Sheehan (Leinster): A try-scoring threat with a quick-fire brace that put Leinster in prime position. Made few mistakes throughout whilst showing his defensive and breakdown prowess. There is no denying the Irishman is right up there with the best hookers in the world.
1 Reda Wardi (La Rochelle): Another front-row who scrummed well, particularly against the experience of Tadhg Furlong. He also carried seven times and made most of his tackles in a physical effort from the 27-year-old.
READ MORE: Champions Cup: Five takeaways from Leinster v La Rochelle as Gregory Alldritt leads incredible comeback
The article Champions Cup Team of the Final: La Rochelle rewarded throughout as are the Leinster standouts appeared first on Planetrugby.com.