Saracens’ Heineken Cup match winner Billy Vunipola ready to enjoy his night
PUBLISHED: 21:46 11 May 2019 | UPDATED: 17:40 12 May 2019
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How do you celebrate a match-winning performance in a European final? With a hug from your mum of course.
That's what Billy Vunipola was going to do as he and his victorious Saracens team-mates headed off in to the Newcastle night.
The England star's try 13 minutes from time sealed a hard-fought battle against Leinster with a 20-10 win.
And he says he just wants to relish the feeling before worrying about anything else.
Vunipola said: "I'm a bit different in how I see things. If you talk to my brother and those boys, they think the sky is the limit.
"For me I just want to enjoy tonight with my friends and family. I'm going to go and see my mum and give her a big hug."
His score came with Leinster minus a man in the forwards thanks to a yellow card.
"I knew as soon as our scrum went over them the first time there was an opportunity.
"They brought Robbie Henshaw into the scrum and I thought I would have a go and luckily I just got there.
"And I'm thankful that I did."
The game swung either side of half-time.
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Leinster had built up a 10-0 lead and with 10 minutes to go before half-time, Sarries were themselves a man down with Maro Itoje in the bin.
But a try from Sean Maitland and conversion and penalty from Owen Farrell levelled things up and with Leinster pressing early in the second half, Saracens produced a sterling defensive display.
Director of rugby Mark McCall said: "To be 10-0 down against a side with the quality of Leinster is not the greatest position to be in.
"And we lost Maro to the sin-bin around that time as well.
"But the players handled those 10 minutes incredibly well and to score before half-time was massive
"We were really great in the second half and it started with one really good defensive set.
"Leinster are one of the best teams at keeping the ball in your 22 and making you pay.
"But we got the turnover and thereafter we were very good."
McCall also admitted that he didn't need to say much at the interval.
"Our players took control at half-time and were very clear in what we needed," he revealed.
"We weren't miles off in the first half. We just felt there was a little bit more in us defensively, a little bit more in attack and it was Brad [Barritt] and Owen who said that.
"We'd played like that with 14 men in the final 10 minutes of the first half and we continued that in the second half."
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