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Six standout players from blockbuster Challenge Cup and Champions Cup final

The EPCR Challenge Cup and Investec Champions Cup have now reached their conclusion, but they went out with a bang with two brilliant finals!

The final’s weekend got underway on Friday night, as the Sharks faced Gloucester. Both teams have struggled in their respective domestic league’s this season, so there was a lot riding of this final for them.

Gloucester got off to a fast start, however the power of the Sharks pack, particularly in the scrum, eventually took it’s toll as the South African side ran away with the game 36-22. The win for the Sharks also made EPCR history, as they became the first South African side to win a European title since they entered the competitions last season.

This set the bar incredibly high for the weekend’s main event, but boy did it live up to expectation.

Both teams really tested each other with a blend of physicality and flair, however they couldn’t break each other down. The kicking boots of Blair Kinghorn, Thomas Ramos, Ross Byrne and Ciaran Frawley ensured the scores were level after 80 minutes, but things went up a gear in extra-time.

The teams swapped tries and cards, however it was again the boot of Thomas Ramos that did the damage, securing Toulouse’s sixth European title.

But which players stood tall above the rest? Here are our six standout players from the Challenge Cup and Champions Cup finals

Six standout players from blockbuster Challenge Cup and Champions Cup final

Six standout players from blockbuster Challenge Cup and Champions Cup final

Antoine Dupont 

The Toulouse skipper was simply brilliant against Leinster. He was a constant threat in attack, both with ball-in-hand and with the boot; but he was also terrific in defence too. He came up with four crucial turnovers to deny Leinster golden opportunities, which went a long way to ensuring he lifted the title.

Jack Willis 

Monumental performance from the English back-rower. Willis made an astonishing 41 tackles, and was a constant threat at the breakdown too. He has also worked very hard on his ball carrying, and made more carries than any Toulouse forward in the game (nine). His performance will also restart the conversation around selecting overseas players for England.

Blair Kinghorn

Who would have thought Blair Kinghorn would be such an important part of Toulouse’s Champions Cup final win? The Scotland international kicked his goals well, but he was also incredibly solid under the high ball, which really limited the likes of Hugo Keenan and James Lowe too. Furthermore, he made the most of the broken field in front of him to make the most meters out of anyone in the Toulouse team. Kinghorn was also good in defence too, making eight tackles.

Siya Masuku 

The Sharks fly-half was influential in his side’s Challenge Cup victory. He kicked his goals brilliantly, slotting 8/9 from the tee, but he also steered his team around the pitch well. His combination with scrum-half Grant Williams also played a huge role in their victory.

Vintcent Koch

The Sharks scrum was the main reason they gained the momentum in the game, and Koch was so crucial in this area. He completely had the number of Jamal Ford-Robinson, which then also allowed Ox Nche to really attack Fraser Balmain too. Koch also played a big role in the Sharks attack, making 12 carries. His 50:22 was also sublime.

Andrew Porter 

The Leinster prop was excellent yesterday. He arguably put in his best-ever scrummaging performance against a mighty Toulouse pack, but he was also busy in open play too. Porter made seven carries in his 93 minute stint, and also recorded 13 tackles too. He also grew into the game as it went on, and was a real threat in the closing stages.