Rhapsody In Blue ON SALE NOW…
October 24, 2011 12:00 am client
It was late when Leinster coach Joe Schmidt got to bed after his team’s unforgettable Heineken Cup final comeback against Northampton Saints in the Millennium Stadium on May 21, 2011. But Schmidt’s sleep was shortlived… he had a question on his mind… ‘did that really happen?’
Yes, it did happen – it was scarcely believable but it did happen. Indeed it was an incredible journey from start to finish. Has any team had to travel a harder road to the title? Leinster were in the toughest pool – with French champions Clermont Auvergne, Racing Metro and Saracens – but still managed to top it with 24 points.
In the quarter-final they drew two-time champions Leicester Tigers; next up were the reigning champions Toulouse, the aristocrats of Europe with four Heineken Cup titles; and in the final against Northampton, Leinster trailed by 16 points at half-time before staging one of the greatest sporting comebacks of all time. It was an achievement earned the hard way, step by treacherous step.
In Rhapsody In Blue, the Sportsfile team of photographers have recorded every moment of this epic adventure – the tries, the tackles, the moments of magic and the game-changing incidents that led to the ultimate triumph. Above all, they have captured the drama and the emotion along the way – for the players, the backroom team and the fans.
The players themselves also provide invaluable insights to the season. Captain Leo Cullen, Brian O’Driscoll, Jonathan Sexton, Isa Nacewa, Sean O’Brien, Richardt Strauss, Shane Horgan and Simon Shawe describe the build-up to the matches and share personal memories of key incidents, with Sexton having the final word on the grand finale in Cardiff.
Joe Schmidt gives an overall assessment of the campaign. Peter Breen, Media & Communications Manager for Leinster Rugby, writes a synopsis of each game showing how the action unfolded and the Supporters Club tell what it was like from their point of view.
A remarkable success… and Sportsfile’s remarkable photographers were there to capture it.
’Rhapsody In Blue’ will be available in bookshops nationwide this week and is available to purchase ONLINE HERE NOW