Johnny Sexton reflected on the European Champions Cup final with “big regret” after Saracens dethroned Leinster with a 20-10 victory at St James’ Park on Saturday.
Sarries roared back from 10-0 down in a ferocious decider in Newcastle to regain a trophy they won in 2016 and 2017.
It was sweet revenge for the Premiership champions, who were beaten by the Irish province at the quarter-final stage last season.
Captain Sexton was left to rue a missed opportunity after Leinster suffered the heartbreak of defeat in a European final for the first time.
“It’s a big regret and you’d love to go and play the match again, but you don’t,” said the World Rugby Player of the Year.
“You never want that to happen in a final, you want to have no regrets.
“And we’ll look back at some key moments, especially at the start of the second half, when I just felt we had the upper hand and we didn’t quite capitalise on it.”
“It’s such fine margins in these games. Saracens were the better team on the day.”
— Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) May 12, 2019
The Ireland fly-half is confident Leo Cullen’s side will put the agony behind them, with a Pro14 title still up for grabs.
“I don’t think it’s arrogant or over-confident to say that we’ve been the two best sides in Europe,” said the British and Irish Lions playmaker.
“We met at a quarter-final stage last year, obviously we had home advantage that day. Neutral venue [for the Champions Cup final], and they just got the upper hand.
“So we feel we’re close to the top. You don’t get to a final if you’re not near the top. We’ll just take lots of learnings from it, and I think we’ll bounce back.”
KEO.co.za News wire is powered by opta