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May 21 down the years
Leinster clinch stunning euro triumph
Leinster's Jonny Sexton celebrates with the Heineken Cup,  Leinster v Northampton Saints, Heineken Cup Final, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, May 21, 2011
Leinster's Jonny Sexton celebrates with the Heineken Cup following his side's dramatic victory over Northampton on this day in 2011 © Getty Images

Leinster claimed the Heineken Cup for the second time with a thrilling 33-22 victory over Northampton at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. The Saints appeared to be cruising to Europe's to prize after powering to a 22-6 half-time lead thanks to tries from Phil Dowson, Ben Foden and Dylan Hartley. But Leinster fly-half Jonny Sexton orchestrated an unprecedented comeback with two second half tries on his way to a match-winning 28-point haul. "A game of two halves, the well-worn cliché does not do the game justice - such was the violent swing in the fortunes of both sides during this rollercoaster of a final," wrote ESPNscrum's Graham Jenkins.

Clive Woodward - the goal-kicker - was the main man for the Lions in their 22-19 win against the South African Invitation XV at Potchefstroom. He kicked four penalties and a conversion, but Mike Slemen's winning try after the ball passed through countless pairs of hands provided the lasting memory of the game.

London Wasps announced that they would be ground-sharing with Wycombe Wanderers Football Club from the start of the following season. At a meeting specially convened by Wycombe District Council (WDC), the decision was taken to give the go ahead for the ground share. Wasps left a ground-share at Loftus Road with QPR die to the club announcing a separate share with Fulham.

Wallaby winger Ben Tune had knee surgery that ruled him out of the Rugby World Cup. Tune struggled throughout the Super 12 season with the Queensland Reds with problems with the joint, and after undergoing scans he required an operation in Melbourne next week to repair damage to both knees.

"It was an incredibly hard decision to make," Tune said. "I could have continued playing with my knee the way that it is but would have struggled to make an impact on the Wallabies."

Murrayfield was announced as the venue for the 2005 Heineken Cup final. Edinburgh would stage its first major European rugby final after tournament organisers were impressed by the Scottish Rugby Union's presentation. Previous European finals had been held in Cardiff, Dublin, Paris, Bordeauxand Twickenham and Murrayfield saw an all-French affair with Toulouse defeating Stade Francais in extra-time.

Mr James Baxter, manager of the British/Irish Lions, attacked the New Zealand wing-forward system after the tourists' opening game of the visit, a 19-3 win against Wanganui.

Mike Campbell-Lamerton's Lions were held to a 6-all draw by New South Wales. The state side, who lead 6-0 at the interval, had to play with only seven forwards for the last hour after a player is injured in a heavy tackle.

The goal-kicking of Steve Fenwick, who landed three penalty goals, saw the Lions to a narrow 13-11 victory against Hawke's Bay at Napier.

Wales were outplayed in the second match of their short tour of New Zealand, trounced 38-22 by Wellington at Athletic Park.

© Scrum.com
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