RaboDirect PRO12: Colleagues pay tribute to the retiring Brian O'Driscoll
Brian O'Driscoll's Leinster colleagues hailed the retiring centre as he ended his career with another winner's medal.
Last Updated: 01/06/14 9:00am
Leinster beat Glasgow 34-12 to secure their fourth RaboDirect PRO12 crown, becoming the first side to retain the title in the process.
It was not quite the fairytale finish O'Driscoll would have hoped for - he hobbled out of the game after just eight minutes after suffering a calf injury.
But Leinster still ran out winners, two tries from Zane Kirchner plus further scores from Shane Jennings and Gordon D'Arcy gave the Irish province a handsome win, with fly-half Jimmy Gopperth adding 14 points with the boot.
O'Driscoll and fellow retiree Leo Cullen lifted the trophy in the warm evening sunshine, with the former chaired around the ground before his adoring public.
Head coach Matt O'Connor admitted the team wanted to win it for O'Driscoll.
He said: "Brian O'Driscoll has been immense. They don't make them like that any more and we are just privileged to have him in the environment.
"It's not all about one guy but there's no doubt everyone here wanted to make sure he, Leo and the other guys who are leaving us went out in the right way.
"We have worked really hard all year. They deserve it because they worked really hard throughout the season.
"It was a tough battle. We knew that it would be and we needed to put our best performance to beat Glasgow and it is no disgrace to lose to our team."
Skipper Jamie Heaslip added: "It was great for us to be able to send off a guy who has given so much to Leinster rugby and to Irish rugby with a trophy.
"He has been unbelievable to play alongside.
"We knew it would not be easy and, to be fair to Glasgow, I don't think the score reflected the way the two sides played, but we are over the moon to finish like that."
It was Glasgow's first major final and they were in the match until the last quarter.
But head coach Gregor Towsend backed his side to bounce back and go one better next season.
He said: "We have made real progress over the last couple of years and a lot of these players are still going to be here for a few more years.
"We have been in semi-finals, we have been in the final this year and we have to make sure we go one better next year.
"It was a great occasion, but we were just not good enough on the day. We had some chances we did not take and just ran out of a bit of steam."