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Leinster become fourth club in history to win Euro double

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ercrugby.com and James Mortimer     20 May 2013     Getty Images

The triple Heineken Cup winners are now only the fourth club to win both European crowns and they did that with their first Amlin crown.

They did all the hard work in the first half and then came strong again at the end while for Stade Francais Paris it was more Euro misery - going down to defeat in a fourth final and still searching for that elusive first title.

It was another night for the Leinster faithful to savour and ensure that coach Joe Schmidt will leave to take over the national coaching job with silverware in the trophy cabinet.

And it took Leinster less than four minutes to open their account from a cleanly won line-out by skipper Jamie Heaslip.

Wing Isa Nacewa was the main provider, coming inside on a short pass and tearing the Stade defence to shreds, and two crisp passes later and centre Ian Madigan was over under the posts for Jonny Sexton - later named the Amlin Man of the Match - to add the simplest of conversions and have the sell-out crowd of 20,396 on their feet.

Nacewa then turned try saver, forcing Jules Plisson into touch by the corner flag as the Stade outside half hurtled towards the try line in a bright and entertaining opening by both teams relishing the sunny and calm conditions.

Prop Mike Ros required lengthy on-field treatment before rejoining the battle and a powerful drive by Stade at the next scrum had Leinster retreating and penalised for the French club to go on the attack from a line-out deep in Leinster territory.

The Irish defence held firm as Stade hammered away from close range and with both sides showing huge attacking intent it was breathless stuff.

Wing Andrew Conway did superbly to collect a testing kick - and then get his pass away under pressure for hooker Sean Cronin to rumble over and Sexton convert for a 14-point lead with barely a quarter gone.

Stade finally opened their account with a Jerome Porical penalty goal - but any relief was strictly shortlived.

Sexton put in an inch perfect cross kick that Nacewa took cleanly and when challenged he popped the ball up for full back Rob Kearney to dive over in spectacular fashion and Sexton to compliment that with a touchline conversion.

Porical was on target with a second penalty but a 15-point deficit at the break left Stade with simply to high a mountain to climb.

The flood of points initially dried up after the break before Sexton coolly slotted a penalty as Leinster took the opportunity to introduce fresh legs in the front row in particular.

And a particular cheer greeted the arrival of club captain Leo Cullen on the hour for him to have an active interest in Leinster's charge to glory.

On of the first things Cullen did was stand and admire another Sexton penalty saile between the uprights before Stade's enterprise was rewarded with wing Jeremy Sinzelle finall finding a way through the Leinster defence, Plisson converting.

Kearney thought he had gone over for his second and Leinster's fourth only for a stray boot brushing the touchline denying him.

The brought a chorus of disapproving jeers from the crowd - which turned to cheers when replacement prop Cian Healey did get their fourth, Sexton adding the conversion to really put the icing on the Leinster cake.