Jack Conan: That's the toughest game I've played all year
Leinster number eight Jack Conan has said that his side's 21-18 win over Ulster in Saturday's Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final was the toughest game he's played in all year.
A late Ross Byrne penalty was the difference between the two sides in a thriller at the Aviva Stadium as defending champions Leinster once again advanced to the final four.
Conan was immense for Leinster with 16 carries, 18 tackles and a try assist while he added that sides that want to win the tournament must be able to grind out results like that victory.
"It was probably the toughest game I've played all year," said Conan in his post-match interview.
"Massive credit to Ulster. They came down here and threw the kitchen sink at us. They were incredible to be fair. I thought we gave them a few easy opportunities with knockdowns and penalties, general ill-discipline, but hats off to them, they put in an incredible shift for 80 minutes.
"It's incredible to be back here in the Aviva with Leinster and having a full house today, it means a lot to the lads. It wasn't pretty today but that's what championship sides do, they win. Even when it's not good and pretty, they grind out a win."
Conan broke free to set up Adam Byrne's second-half try and he managed to shake off a brief wardrobe malfunction before putting his winger away in the corner.
"I just wish I wasn't pulling at my shorts for about 20 meters!" 😂
A typically humble Jack Conan sees the funny side of his outstanding effort for the game-deciding score...
Today's man of the match believes Ulster are the toughest test Leinster have faced all season 👏 pic.twitter.com/HnmrBz7Ofr
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) March 30, 2019
"I just wish I wasn't pulling at my shorts for 20 metres trying to get them back up. There was a hole there and I was just happy to be in the right area at the right time so it was nice to get a bit of open space.
"You see an open space and you don't know what to do but to be fair to Adam he was right there by my side and he always works so hard off the ball and if it wasn't for him we wouldn't have got the result that we did."