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Saturday, 25 May, 2002, 17:08 GMT 18:08 UK
Back defends his actions
Austin Healey celebrates his try
Austin Healey's try sealed victory for Leicester
Neil Back admitted "I did what I had to do" after his controversial late intervention helped Leicester become the first team to retain the Heineken Cup.

The Zurich Premiership champions beat Irish outfit Munster 15-9 at the Millennium Stadium.

However, there was controversy in the dying seconds when Leicester flanker Back secured scrum ball from a Munster put-in which television replays confirmed he had done illegally by using his hands.


I'm pretty sure you can look at both sides and say there was a fair amount of cheating today
Dean Richards

But Back said afterwards: "This game is all about little edges - particularly in finals - and doing what you can to win. That was a very crucial scrum.

"Our defence held up well and I did what I had to do to ensure a win for Leicester."

Speaking on BBC One, he continued: "It's a tremendous year for Leicester, it was our goal at the start. We dug in and never gave in.

"There's a great spirit, it's been a really tough year - especially on the back of last year.

"To win again in Europe is fantastic because it's a very difficult competition to win. We rode our luck today but the defence was superb."

Leicester's director of rugby Dean Richards was nonplussed when questioned about the Back incident.

He said: "I'm pretty sure you can look at both sides and say there was a fair amount of cheating today."

Munster's Peter Stringer attempts to break through
Stringer was upset with Back's controversial intervention

He continued: "To win is an outstanding feeling - the boys played their hearts out today."

Man of the match Tim Stimpson, who scored six of Leicester's points but missed three kicks, said: "Munster played very good rugby against us and we all dug deep. We didn't play in top gear but the boys gave 100%.

"We are tired, and we've lost a bit of form but today the heart was in it.

"This means everything to the club."

Austin Healey, who produced a try-saving tackle on Munster wing John O'Neill, added: "It doesn't get much better than this.


I was trying to put the ball in and one of their players got a hand to it and knocked it out of my hand
Peter Stringer

"Exhilarating, fantastic, proud. It's a fantastic occasion for all the players and their families.

"We thought they (Munster) were very tired at half-time so we tried to up the pace and scored a try - but there was some awesome defence from the whole team.

Munster's Peter Stringer said: "To say we're gutted is an understatement - we would love to have won, particularly having lost two years ago (by a point to Northampton)."

On the controversial late incident involving Back, he continued: "I was trying to put the ball in and one of their players got a hand to it and knocked it out of my hand.

"The ref didn't see it - he was on the other side - but we're going to have to bounce back from this.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Leicester flanker Neil Back
"We had to really dig in at the end"

Heineken Cup final

Matt Dawson

Parker-Pen final

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EUROPEAN STATISTICS
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