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Grand Final

Play-Off History

2012 Final

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The Ospreys took their 4th title in a thrilling final

Four teams contested the 2011 Play-Offs, with Munster looking to defend their title against Ospreys, while Leinster met Glasgow in the other knockout game.

In a repeat of the 2010 final, Leinster met Ospreys at the RDS, in what turned out to be a thrilling encounter, decided by a last-minute Dan Biggar conversion.

2011 Final

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Munster took the 2011 title in their back yard of Thomond Park

The 2011 Final was contested between Munster and Leinster.

2010 Final

2010 witnessed the first Final and Play-Offs since 2003, with Leinster, the Ospreys, Glasgow Warriors and Munster all competing to be crowned Champions.

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The Ospreys took the 2010 title

Leinster, who finished first at the end of the regular league season, beat Munster, who finished fourth, while the Ospreys backed up their second-place finish with a win over the third-place Warriors at the Play-Off stage.

That set up a mouthwatering Final between the league's two most consistent teams in front of a packed house at the RDS on May 29, 2010.

Tries from Tommy Bowe and Lee Byrne, together with two conversions and a penalty from Dan Biggar, secured Final glory for the Ospreys with a 17-12 victory in the Irish capital.

Tale of the tape - records from the 2010 and 2011 Finals

Match records: team

Most Points
31 Ospreys (2012)
Least Points 9 Leinster (2010)
Biggest Win Margin 10 Munster (2011)
Smallest Win Margin 1 Ospreys (2012)
Highest Points Aggregate 61 (2012)
Most Points Half-Time 17 Leinster (2012)
Least Points Half-Time 3 Leinster (2010)
Most Tries 3 Ospreys (2012) and Leinster (2012)
Most Cons 3 Leinster (2012)
Most Pens 4 Leinster (2010)
Fastest Try 12min Doug Howlett (Munster, 2011)
Latest Try 79min Penalty Try (Munster, 2011)
Latest Scorer 80min Ronan O'Gara (Munster, 2011)

Match records: individual

Most Points 16 Dan Biggar (Ospreys, 2012)
Most Tries 2, Isa Nacewa (Leinster) and Shane Williams (Ospreys), both 2012
Most Cons 3 Dan Biggar (Ospreys, 2012)
Most Pens 4 Jonathan Sexton (Leinster, 2010) and Dan Biggar (Ospreys, 2012)

Final records: Cumulative

Most Points 36 Jonathan Sexton (Leinster, 2010,2011 and 2012)
Most Tries 2, Isa Nacewa (Leinster) and Shane Williams (Ospreys), both 2012
Most Cons 4 Dan Biggar (Ospreys, 2010 and 2012)
Most Pens 10 Jonathan Sexton (Leinster, 2010, 2011 and 2012)

The Early Years

In the first few years of its existence, the Celtic League winners were determined via a Play-Off programme.

The Celtic League began life on August 17, 2001, when 15 teams from Wales (9), Ireland (4) and Scotland (2), split into two pools playing each other just once. The top four teams from each pool qualified for the knockout quarter-finals in late November, with the semi-finals taking place early in December. The inaugural final was then staged at Lansdowne Road on 15 December 2001, where 30,000 fans saw Leinster defeat Munster 24-20.

Celtic League 2001/02

Quarter-Finals
30/11/2001 Ulster 38 - 29 Neath
30/11/2001 Leinster 34 - 22 Newport
01/12/2001 Connacht 29 - 34 Glasgow
01/12/2001 Munster 13 - 6 Llanelli

Semi-Finals
07/12/2001 Leinster 35 - 13 Glasgow
08/12/2001 Munster 15 - 9 Ulster

Final
15/12/2001 Leinster 24 - 20 Munster (Lansdowne Road)

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Leinster celebrate their 2001 success over Munster

The Celtic League expanded to 16 teams with the introduction of a third Scottish side - the Borders - in 2002/03, but the teams still only met once during the season. A bonus-point scheme was introduced and the quarter-finals were staged in November and the semi-finals in January.

The second Celtic League Final took place at the Millennium Stadium on February 1, 2003, and Munster made up for their disappointment at losing the previous year in Dublin by beating Neath 37-17 in front of more than 30,000 fans.

Celtic League 2002/03



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Munster beat Neath in the Millenium Stadium

Quarter-Finals
29/11/2002 Pontypridd 12 - 13 Neath
29/11/2002 Munster 33 - 3 Connacht
30/11/2002 Glasgow 17 - 20 Ulster
30/11/2002 Edinburgh 22 - 26 Cardiff Rugby

Semi-Finals
03/01/2003 Munster 42 - 10 Ulster
04/01/2003 Neath 32 - 10 Cardiff Rugby

Final
01/02/2003 Munster 37 - 17 Neath (Millennium Stadium)

From 2004 to 2009, the league reverted back to deciding it's champions by a traditional league format. That all changed again in 2010 and the success of the new system looks set to ensure the Final remains the focal point of the RaboDirect PRO12 season for years to come.

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Reports & Previews
Competition Table

Team
Pld
Pts
Leinster RugbyLeinster2074
Munster RugbyMunster2068
Ulster RugbyUlster2065
Glasgow WarriorsGlasgow1964
OspreysOspreys2060
ScarletsScarlets2046
Cardiff BluesBlues2037
Edinburgh RugbyEdinburgh1935
Connacht RugbyConnacht2034
Newport Gwent DragonsDragons2031
Benetton TrevisoTreviso2029
ZebreZebre2025
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