Planet Rugby

Leinster fightback stuns Northampton

21st May 2011 13:32

Share:

Jonathan Sexton Leinster v Northampton 21/5/2011

28 points: Jonathan Sexton

Leinster came from 16 points down to claim a 33-22 win over Northampton in the Heineken Cup Final on Saturday.

The title is their second in three seasons as a virtuoso two-try performance from Ireland fly-half Jonathan Sexton led them to European glory.

Northampton had come out of the blocks firing on all cylinders and fully deserved their early lead through tries from Phil Dowson and Ben Foden. But Leinster have been in these surroundings before and promptly switched to a much wider gameplan that subsequently paid off in droves.

Sexton was the architect, scoring 28 in all, as his side clawed their way in front after a quarter of the second-half. Saints didn't know which way to turn.

That last statement would have been hard to believe after witnessing the first 40 minutes at a packed Millennium Stadium. Northampton were mixing their play, utilising their big men like Soane Tonga'uiha and Roger Wilson to the maximum.

But it was Wilson's back-row colleagues who created the first try as Calum Clark offloaded to a scoring Dowson. Stephen Myler added the extras in an early sign of intent from Saints.

Sexton and Myler then traded penalties before Ben Foden scored on 31 minutes, despite Saints being a man down with tighthead prop Brian Mujati in the sin-bin. Deja vu then occurred with another three points apiece before the break as the English went in at 6-22.

Leinster had to show up and how they did.

Outside centre Brian O'Driscoll grew more and more into the game and following a long passage of Irish possession, Sexton crossed for a converted score off the upright.

Joe Schmidt's side seemed to be on a roll and when Gordon D'Arcy was denied on 51 minutes, one sensed they were far from finished attacking. And so it probed as only two minutes later Sexton claimed Jamie Heaslip's offload to go over for his try brace.

Sexton then added a penalty and Leinster were in front, with Northampton looking a shadow of the side that had started so brightly. It got worse for them too when Dowson was shown a yellow card under pressure which led to another six points from the international ten.

Northampton did their utmost to claw their way back to within touching distance but their efforts were fruitless as Leinster claimed the European title in what was a cracking game.

Man-of-the-match: It has to be Jonathan Sexton. Two tries, 28 points, enough said.

The scorers:

For Leinster:
Tries: Sexton 2, Hines
Con: Sexton 3
Pen: Sexton 4

For Northampton:
Tries: Dowson, Foden, Hartley
Con: Myler 2
Pen: Myler

Leinster: 15 Isa Nacewa, 14 Shane Horgan, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Leo Cullen (capt), 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Jason Harris-Wright, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Stan Wright, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Shane Jennings, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Fergus McFadden.

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Jon Clarke, 12 James Downey, 11 Paul Diggin, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Phil Dowson, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Dylan Hartley (capt), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Brett Sharman, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 Mark Easter, 21 Stuart Commins, 22 Shane Geraghty, 23 Joe Ansbro.

Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant Referees: Jerome Garces (France), Pascal Gauzere (France)
Television match official: Giulio De Santis (Italy)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins vs Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Preview
Newcastle Falcons vs GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Preview
Saturday , November 22
Exeter vs Wasps15:00
London Irish vs Bath15:00
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs Northampton13:00
London Welsh vs Leicester Tigers15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 22
Italy vs South Africa15:00
Scotland vs Tonga14:30
Ireland vs Australia16:30
Wales vs New Zealand17:30
England vs Samoa19:00
France vs Argentina21:00
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 21
Dragons vs MunsterDragons vs Munster Preview
Scarlets vs Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Preview
Connacht vs ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Preview
Ulster vs OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs Leinster14:30
Edinburgh vs Cardiff Blues16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
Tonga 40 - 12 USATonga vs USA Report
Wales 17 - 13 FijiWales vs Fiji Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 14
Gloucester 15 - 22 HarlequinsGloucester vs Harlequins Report
Northampton 18 - 24 ExeterNorthampton vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 18 - 20 ArgentinaItaly vs Argentina Report
Canada 13 - 23 SamoaCanada vs Samoa Report
More International Match results
LV= Cup
Cardiff Blues 19 - 13 Scarlets
Ospreys 35 - 51 DragonsOspreys vs Dragons Report
Sunday , November 9
Wasps 43 - 22 London Irish
London Welsh 9 - 18 Gloucester
Leicester 29 - 13 Sale SharksLeicester vs Sale Sharks Report
More LV= Cup results
International Match
Saturday , November 8
Italy 24 - 13 SamoaItaly vs Samoa Report
Wales 28 - 33 AustraliaWales vs Australia Report
England 21 - 24 New ZealandEngland vs New Zealand Report
Georgia 9 - 23 TongaGeorgia vs Tonga Report
Ireland 29 - 15 South AfricaIreland vs South Africa Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton726
2Exeter724
3Bath724
4Saracens724
5Wasps720