Planet Rugby

Leinster eyes turn to Thomond Park

19th January 2013 19:51

Share:

Cian Healy on a run for Leinster in Heineken Cup

Man-of-the-match: Cian Healy

Leinster handed themselves a chance of progressing to the Heineken Cup knockout stages after beating Exeter 29-20 with a bonus-point on Saturday.

The five-point win means Munster must take the maximum against Racing at Thomond Park on Sunday if they are to dump out the champions.

Leinster are currently on 20 points with 12 tries to their name while Munster sit on 15 points (9 tries) and will thus know what needs to be done when they run out to face the Parisians in Limerick.

The champions crossed the whitewash before the break through Ireland duo Gordon D'Arcy and Rob Kearney before Brian O'Driscoll went over for their third while the fourth came in the 53rd minute through imposing number eight Jamie Heaslip.

Leinster made three changes to their pack which saw Richardt Strauss join Sean O'Brien and Kevin McLaughlin as the three newcomers from last week's win over the Scarlets. O'Driscoll returned to the back line, with Johnny Sexton joined by Eoin Reddan in an international half-back partnership.

Exeter meanwhile, had sold out Sandy Park for the final home game of their first venture into Heineken Cup competition, making three changes to their side which had lost in France last week. Injuries in the back line saw Sireli Naqelevuki and Ian Whitten return to the back line, with Dean Mumm introduced to the second row.

The Irish side scored first, with inside centre D'Arcy going over on five minutes, after great tactical kicking by Sexton had earned a line-out five metres from the Exeter line.

Both sides had chosen to forgo the opportunity of points from the boot, a tactic that paid off for the home side, with Neil Clark driving over the line from a line-out maul on 17 minutes.

The Leinster forwards piled on the pressure half an hour in, for Kearney to find the line after a good back line move.

Exeter's line-out driving caused further problems for Leinster just minutes later, as referee Romain Poite awarded a penalty try for the collapse of a maul. With Gareth Steenson converting, and then scoring a penalty goal on the stroke of half-time, the Chiefs were in command at the break by a margin of 17-12.

But with two converted tries in the opening stages of the second half, Leinster got their bonus point, and although they held a nine point lead, were never fully in charge.

Steenson reduced the deficit with a penalty on 69 minutes, and as Exeter sought the try which could have earned a home win, replacement flanker Tom White was yellow carded, and Sexton scored from the penalty to restore the nine point advantage for the visitors.

Although both sides were down to 14 men with the yellow carding of Isaac Boss three minutes from the end of the game, Leinster held on for the win, but now await for Sunday's result at Thomond Park to find out if they qualify for the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

The scorers:

For Exeter:
Tries: Clark, Penalty
Con: Steenson 2
Pen: Steenson 2

For Leinster:
Tries: D'Arcy, Kearney, O'Driscoll, Heaslip
Con: Sexton 3
Pen: Sexton

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Ian Whitten, 13 Sireli Naqelevuki, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Kevin Barrett, 8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Dean Mumm, 4 Tom Hayes (c), 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Neil Clark, 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Craig Mitchell, 19 James Hanks, 20 Ben White, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Nic Sestaret.

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Isa Nacewa, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Leo Cullen, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Heinke Van der Merwe, 18 Michael Bent, 19 Rhys Ruddock, 20 Shane Jennings, 21 Issac Boss, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Fergus McFadden

Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Christophe Berdos (France), Eric Soulan (France)
Television match official: Bernard Dal Maso (France)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Castres vs BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Preview
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Preview
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Preview
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
Friday , September 5
Tasman vs Waikato18:05
Northland vs Hawkes Bay20:05
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00