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
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
Argentina vs South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Preview
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , August 23
Brive vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Toulon vs La Rochelle18:30
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Montpellier vs GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Preview
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Lyon20:45
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs Montpellier20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 23
Blue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
Western Province vs Lions17:05
Sharks vs Cheetahs19:10
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs Sharks19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Preview
Bay Of Plenty vs TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs Taranaki19:35
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs Northland19:35
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs Manawatu09:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
More Rugby Championship 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
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 15
Bayonne 15 - 29 ToulonBayonne vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00