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 , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 37 - 23 Cardiff BluesLeinster vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411