Having joined the newly crowned European champions in 2016, Sean Maitland looked to be on course for a glory day at the ground that has become his international rugby home when personal disaster struck at the end of his first season with Saracens.

An ankle injury meant the New Zealand-born, Scotland winger spent the afternoon of the Champions Cup final in the Murrayfield grandstand watching his clubmates retaining the trophy and wondering if his opportunity to grace such an occasion would ever come his way.

That only made the contribution he was able to make as they reclaimed their status as European champions all the more enjoyable as he described the contrasting nature of the experiences having scored the try that got Saracens properly back into a match in which they had trailed the most successful team in the history of European club competition by 10 points, with a key man, Maro Itoje, in the sin bin.

“I had surgery on the Monday after the final (in 2017). I was gutted because it’s a special place, Murrayfield and I was properly excited the whole year knowing I could play in the final there. It wasn’t to be, but I played today so happy days,” Maitland said on Saturday evening.

On one of the rare occasions that either defence was properly opened up in the course of a brutal encounter that 2018 world rugby player of the year Johnny Sexton acknowledged was of Test match intensity, the delicacy of Owen Farrell’s touch under the most extreme pressure served as a refreshing counterpoint to the bludgeoning force repeatedly inflicted on the Leinster defence by the most powerful group of men in the global game, as the play-maker released Maitland for the try that let him level the scores with the conversion.

“Until Maro got sin binned, we weren’t playing the best rugby,” Maitland admitted.

“It took him getting sin binned for us to wake up and say hey, let’s get stuck in. That kicked us into gear and to score then was a massive momentum shift going into the second half.”

Most of the third quarter elapsed before Saracens finally edged in front, but once they were they showed why they are considered the best of front-runners.

“We just said (at half-time) we had to find the feeling we had in the last ten to 15 minutes of the first half,” said Maitland.

“Keep searching for it. Our defence was different class, they like to play with the ball and hold onto it, but our defence today was excellent. We were banging them back.”

That they were and, in the end, even four-time previous champions Leinster could find no way through as Maitland finally earned the right to join his team-mates in being able to call himself a European champion.