Sexton full of praise for Lancaster

Date published: January 14 2017

Leinster fly-half Jonathan Sexton was full of praise for assistant coach Stuart Lancaster after Leinster thrashed Montpellier on Friday.

Having failed to reach the knockout stages last season the three-time winners are in an excellent position to secure a home quarter-final with one round to go.

Leinster finished with eight tries in a one-way 57-3 hammering at the RDS, with back-row Jack Conan grabbing a hat-trick.

And Sexton highlighted how a change in approach when it comes to Leinster’s attacking game since Lancaster came aboard has paid dividends in Europe so far this season.

“It’s not by accident that you see everyone wanting to get the ball in their hands. Stuart Lancaster has come in and had a big influence on the style of rugby,” Sexton told EPC Rugby.

“This is the stuff we practice every day in training, the unstructured part of our game. We spend time on our off-loading game, so it’s not by chance or a fluke – it is being worked on every day.

“Stuart has had a great influence on us and the whole organisation and it is a great place to be again.

“You could see the crowd at the end – that’s why we’ve got to perform next week and bring a quarter-final home to these supporters.”

Sexton also defended Frans Steyn after the Montpellier was sent off for a late, high tackle on Sexton midway through the first half, which led to Montpellier’s downfall.

“It felt like a forward when Frans hit me. When I looked back at the incident on TV I expected it to be one of their back rowers,” admitted Sexton.

“I know Frans well and he’s a good guy. It looked as though I was ducking down into it a little bit, so it could have been accidental. But with these new laws you can’t afford to be reckless.

“It was probably a yellow card before, but now it’s a red. I felt for him because he’s not a dirty player.”