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Vern Cotter And Joe Schmidt Clashes Tend To Be Absolute Classics Judging By Their 2012 Meeting

Vern Cotter And Joe Schmidt Clashes Tend To Be Absolute Classics Judging By Their 2012 Meeting
By Conor O'Leary

April 29th 2012. Without that day, Leinster's dynasty and Joe Schmidt's legacy would not be as exalted as it is. Without that day, Leinster don't win their third Heineken Cup, beating Munster and becoming only the second team in history (at the time) to retain their trophy.

That day in late April provided one of the best games in European rugby history. It pitted to fantastic teams, with two brilliant coaches, against each other. Joe Schmidt's Leinster were travelling to the south of France to face Vern Cotter's mighty Clermont Auvergne.

It was meant to be the end of the road for Leinster. Both teams were approaching unstoppable rugby that year. It was the champions against possibly the best team never to win a European Cup.

And the finish, wow. It's nearly four years later and it will still have you on the edge of your seat. For five minutes, Clermont pounded the Leinster line. Time after time, they came - and Leinster looked like they were hanging on.

It was only a matter of time.

77 minutes - Sivivatu gets the ball and brings it within 10 metres of the Leinster tryline.

77:40 - Pick and goes bring it ever closer. Julien Bonnaire brings it to the Leinster line. They're so close.

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78.03 - Wesley Fofana goes over and claims the try. An entire fanbase curses

78.30 - Hold on, replays show that Fofana knocked the ball on.

78.50 - Wayne Barnes talking to the TMO - "I can award that?". An entire fanbase curses again.

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78.52 - Relief as the TMO rules it a knock on. It's almost over.

79.40 - Scrum penalty to Clermont. An entire fanbase curses louder.

80.00 - Already on the Leinster line, Clermont get a penalty advantage.

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81.04- Taking the penalty, Clermont are right on the Leinster post. Just touching it down by the post kills the back-to-back dream. An entire fanbase curses.

81.22 - Sean O'Brien gets over the ball. An entire fanbase is hurling abuse at the referee.

81.23 - The penalty is given. Leinster have won. An entire fanbase curses.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjxFow0FLRQ

See Also: Scotland Would Have More Players In A Lions XV Than Ireland

Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

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