Published Sunday, 01 June 2014
Brian O'Driscoll of Leinster, gestures to fans in the last match of his career (© Getty)
Retiring duo O'Driscoll and Leo Cullen both received winning send-offs to their illustrious careers as Leinster beat Glasgow Warriors 34-12 in a runaway RaboDirect PRO12 final victory.
It was a bittersweet occasion at the RDS for 35-year-old O'Driscoll who was forced off with a suspected calf injury less than 10 minutes into the contest.
Head coach Matt O'Connor, who guided the Irish province to their second successive league title, was delighted with the performance of O'Driscoll's replacement Ian Madigan.
"He (Madigan) is a class footballer. He has played a hell of a lot of rugby at 12. He gave us an extra set of hands there, which created a lot of opportunities and asked questions of the Glasgow defence," O'Connor said.
"There has never been a doubt in how good a footballer Ian Madigan is from this side of the table. The last two performances of the season, he has come on early and changed the game for us. That says to me that he is in a pretty good frame of mind mentally.
"The challenges that he has had - he is running the game and being the focal point of the opposition - that takes time, and he will develop the more and more he does that.
"I thought he and Jimmy (Gopperth) tonight worked in tandem brilliantly, and it was a very pleasing result for Ian personally."
Glasgow were only 14-12 in arrears at the break after Finn Russell converted his fourth penalty of the evening in injury-time, however the experienced Leinster team gradually took control in the second half.
© UTV News