A final that looked for all the world to be heading to extra time saw Leinster claim their fourth elite European trophy right at the death.
The province traded penalties with their French foes throughout a tight encounter. A pair of kicks from Isa Nacewa in the final ten minutes gave Leinster a precarious 15-12 lead with just seconds to go.
Remi Tales had an attempt at a drop goal on the stroke of 80 minutes, but the effort was wide, giving Leo Cullen’s team the win.
One Irishman who was on the receiving end of defeat was Donnacha Ryan.
The Tipperary man spent over 13 years down south with Munster, before moving to Racing 92 this time last year. Despite his best efforts, the Paris side came up just short.
Ryan spoke to BT Sport in the immediate aftermath, and was as classy as ever in his assessment of the Bilbao encounter.
“It’s obviously disappointing, but credit to Leinster, they haven’t lost a game all season, and they’re obviously champions”, he said.
“I thought we had a bit of control with 10 minutes to go, but there was a lack of communication in defence. Credit to Leinster, they kept coming. Ball retention was very good, we just needed to be a bit more technical.
Despite the loss of Dan Carter before the game, and Pat Lambie early on, Ryan wasn’t interested in making excuses for the defeat.
“There’s no excuses, we’ve played together all year”, he admitted.
“The ball retention was in the high nineties, so we had to attack the breakdown. I thought we did that for the most part of the game, but we couldn’t do it for 80 minutes.”
The defeat represents Racing’s second defeat in the Champions Cup final, having lost 21-9 to Saracens in 2016.
"It's obviously disappointing, but credit to Leinster, they haven't lost a game all season."
All class from Donnacha Ryan after a bitterly disappointing result for Racing 92. pic.twitter.com/hGQIXo6LnA
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) May 12, 2018