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Report: Leinster's Sean O'Brien Move Sparked Halftime Altercation At Champions Cup Final

Report: Leinster's Sean O'Brien Move Sparked Halftime Altercation At Champions Cup Final
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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Judging by incidents from during and after Saturday's final, it is clear that there is some bad blood brewing between Leinster and La Rochelle. That should not come as a surprise, with the two sides having met at the latter stages of the Champions Cup for three consecutive seasons.

There were a couple of occasions where tempers became frayed on the pitch during the game, although much of the animosity between the pair seems to have come away from the field of play.

La Rochelle made it clear after the match that they felt they had been disrespected by both the authorities and their opponents in the buildup to the fixture.

As well as that, that things apparently got a bit heated during halftime at the Aviva Stadium. The Irish Independent reported how an altercation took place between representatives from both teams in the tunnel, with the likes of Johnny Sexton, Sean O'Brien, Ronan O'Gara, and Will Skelton all involved.

The EPCR would release a statement that evening to say an investigation into the incident would be launched as soon as possible.


We may now have a clearer idea as to what sparked that incident.

Cause of altercation between Leinster and La Rochelle revealed

RugbyPass are reporting that it was Leinster's decision to camp Sean O'Brien outside the referee's room at Lansdowne Road that led to the disagreement between the two teams.


It was said that Ronan O'Gara had spoken to referee Wayne Barnes during the interval in last year's final, with the Irish side keen to avoid a repeat with Jaco Peyper on this occasion. The Cork man apparently took exception to this move, with Sexton and Skelton also becoming involved.

O'Brien was stationed outside the referee's room, which is located next to the home dressing room occupied by Leinster. This led to some choice words being exchanged during a brief altercation.

It is not out of the question that bans could be handed out as a result of the incident, including to Johnny Sexton as he targets his return to action ahead of the World Cup later this yeat. However, the Irish Independent say that such a level of punishment looks unlikely at this point.


It will be interesting to see if either team addresses this one in the days ahead.

SEE ALSO: Ronan O'Gara Has Spoken Very Honestly About His Chances Of Coaching Ireland

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