The Millennium Stadium celebrated its 20th birthday last week and in that time the Cardiff venue has hosted some memorable European Cup encounters. Here we look back at six of the best matches there.
2002 – Leicester Tigers 15 Munster Rugby 9
The first European Cup final at the redeveloped ground saw Leicester become the first club to retain the trophy in front of a then-record crowd of 74,600.
The Tigers scored the game’s only tries – through wing Geordan Murphy and fly-half Austin Healey – with Munster’s sole response being three Ronan O’Gara penalties. Tim Stimpson kicked a conversion and penalty for Leicester.
2006 – Munster Rugby 23 Biarritz Olympique 19
It was third time lucky for Munster who lifted the European Cup for the first time after losing their two previous finals.
Biarritz took the lead with a try from wing Sireli Bobo converted by Dimitri Yachvili, but Munster hit back with tries from centre Trevor Halstead and scrum-half Peter Stringer converted by Ronan O’Gara, who also landed three penalties. Yachvili kicked Biarritz’s other 12 points.
2008 – Munster Rugby 16 Toulouse 13
Millennium Stadium again proved a happy hunting ground for Munster as they secured their second European Cup in three years.
Fly-half Ronan O’Gara was their matchwinner with three penalties and the conversion of No.8 Denis Leamy’s first-half try. Wing Yves Donguy crossed for Toulouse in the second half, but Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, who kicked eight points, was unable to match O’Gara’s tally.
2009 – Cardiff Blues 26 Leicester Tigers 26
Leicester reached the European Cup final via the first penalty shootout in the competition’s history, with Jordan Crane securing a 7-6 win for the visitors after Martyn Williams had missed his kick.
Leicester had stormed into a 26-12 lead with tries from Scott Hamilton and Geordan Murphy, only for Cardiff to stage a superb fightback in the last six minutes via scores from Tom James and Jamie Roberts, and force extra-time, which proved scoreless.
2011 – Leinster Rugby 33 Northampton Saints 22
Fly-half Johnny Sexton inspired the best comeback in European Cup final history to enable Leinster to lift the trophy for the second time in three years.
With Northampton 22-6 ahead at the break after tries from flanker Phil Dowson, full-back Ben Foden and hooker Dylan Hartley, Leinster blitzed 27 points in 26 minutes, including two Sexton tries and one from Nathan Hines. Sexton finished with 28 points after kicking 18.
2014 – RC Toulon 23 Saracens 6
Fly-half Jonny Wilkinson marked his final game on British soil by masterminding Toulon’s second consecutive European Cup success with 13 points.
The England great converted tries by centre Matt Giteau and flanker Juan Smith, as well as kicking two penalties and a drop-goal to ruin Saracens’ first European final appearance. They had to be content with two Owen Farrell penalties.