Jimmy Gopperth missed a last-ditch drop-goal as Leinster were held to a 24-24 draw with Treviso in the Guinness PRO12 on Sunday.
Jimmy Gopperth missed a last-ditch drop-goal as Leinster were held to a 24-24 draw away to Treviso in their Guinness PRO12 clash on Sunday.
The home side will have felt they deserved more after holding the lead for much of the game, but were relieved to see a Gopperth drop-goal attempt go wide with the last kick of the game.
Leinster will have seen the game as a great chance to get some form back, and it all started very well with Darragh Fanning opening the scoring early on.
Treviso, without a win since April, weren’t going to roll over for their illustrious hosts, with Andrea Pratichetti skipping through three tackles to cross.
Dean Budd was the next to score for the Italians, charging over to give his side a surprising early lead.
Leinster’s record of four wins and three defeats before the start of the game was evidence to anyone that they have struggled to maintain good form, but they did manage to strike back just before the break, when Jack Conan fed Rob Kearney to put his side just two points behind at the break.
Treviso needed to keep things tight at the start of the second half, but a sloppy error from Joe Carlisle led to a soft try. The fly-half took an age to attempt a kicked clearance, with replacement hooker Bryan Byrne charging down and racing over the line to put the Irishmen back in control.
Despite this, it was a charge down which Treviso profited from moments later. It was Gopperth this time who dawdled this time with, with the giant Marco Barbini blocking with his hands and following the ball over the line before scoring. A successful conversion heaped more pressure on the away side, as the Italians looked the better side.
Treviso looked the more likely to score next, but when you’re on a losing streak as bad as theirs, it’s always likely that luck won’t be on your side.
Leinster were on the back foot, but in their first venture into opposition territory in what felt like an age, they were able to cross for a try which gave them the lead. Fanning will have scored better looking tries in his time, but he won’t have minded the scrappy nature of his score to put his side back in control.
With just ten minutes to go, the PRO12 holders looked like they might be sneaking towards victory, that was until hooker Davide Giazzon crossed for a score which kept the game in the balance. Giazzon received the ball a good 20 metres out, but despite carrying a fair bit of weight, the number two showed a remarkable turn of pace to level the scores.
Jayden Hayward was unable to convert, which kept the scores level, but he was given a chance to redeem himself a couple of minutes later. The New Zealander steadied himself, but skewed wide a kick which could have handed his side the win.
Gopperth had the last say, but he couldn’t direct his drop goal through the posts, which pretty much summed up his side’s display.
Tries: Pratichetti, Budd, Barbini, Giazzon
Con: Hayward 2
Tries: Fanning 2, Kearney, Byrne
Con: Gopperth 2
Treviso: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Andrea Pratichetti, 13 Enrico Bacchin, 12 Sam Christie, 11 Ludovico Nitoglia, 10 Joe Carlisle, 9 Alberto Lucchese, 8 Mat Luamanu, 7 Dean Budd, 6 Marco Barbini, 5 Corniel Van Zyl (c), 4 Tomas Vallejos, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Matteo Zanusso.
Replacements: 16 Amar Kudin, 17 Jos