'Bruised, battered, but elated': Saracens win third European title

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“This has been the best achievement of my rugby career so far.

“I’m feeling pretty bruised and battered, but absolutely elated. We’re the best club in Europe and have just won the best competition in club rugby — it’s a pretty good feeling.”

Leinster had raced into a 10-0 lead in the first half thanks to a Johnny Sexton penalty and a Tadhg Furlong try.

A Maro Itoje yellow card handed the defending champions a further advantage, but Saracens rallied, and eventually drew level through a Sean Maitland try on the stroke of halftime.

“My yellow card was all part of the master plan,” Itoje joked after the match. “The team ironically started playing better when I was off the pitch. When things go against us it galvanizes us.

“When we’re against the wall that’s when we truly show our character. We needed to up our physicality and our work rate and the rest is history.

“We’ll celebrate tonight and maybe tomorrow then we’ll see what happens after that.”

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