Planet Rugby

Leinster deny Montpellier at the death

12th November 2011 12:21

Share:

sexton

Sexton: Breaks Montpellier hearts

Leinster pivot Johnny Sexton kicked a last-gasp penalty to snatch a 16-16 draw with Montpellier, and deny the French club a famous opening Heineken Cup win on Saturday.

In what was an absorbing contest at the Stade Yves Du Manoir, the hosts looked to have done everything humanly possible to hold off the defending champions until a brain explosion from replacement Remy Martin handed Sexton a chance to save his team's blushes... and the Ireland star didn't disappoint.

Heartbreak for Montpellier, relief for Leinster. But, perhaps, a fair result.

It was a rip-roaring Pool 3 clash, with both teams showing tremendous skill with ball in hand as the crowd were treated to some brilliant entertaining rugby.

It was Test match quality, and neither side took their foot off the pedal as the match clicked from first to fifth gear straight from the kick-off. And it continued to stay that way right until the final whistle.

Up against the defending champions, tournament newbies Montpellier quite rightly entered the match as underdogs.

But the Frenchmen - third last in the Top 14 - weren't prepared to roll over so easily, and instead delivered a ferocious performance that more often than not left the Irish province shell-shocked.

Scrum-half Benoit Paillaugue opened Montpellier's Heineken Cup account with a penalty after two minutes but that was soon cancelled out by Sexton who kicked his first points of the 2011/12 campaign.

The two-time Heineken Cup-winnnig fly-half then kicked Leinster in front with his second penalty from 47m out to take the lead.

Powered on from their fanatical support, Montpellier then crossed for the opening try in fantastic fashion. With Leinster on the attack, an Ica Nacewa chip hit a Montpellier defender which allowed Lucas Amorosino to hack ahead and give chase.

Amorosino won the footrace, and captain Fulgence Ouedraogo was fed the ball for the easiest of scores. Paillaugue added the extras and then another penalty before the interval to round-up a dominant first forty minutes.

The titanic battle continued at a furious pace in the second period and it again was Montpellier that struck first. With Paillaugue off the field, kicking duties fell to Francois Trinh-Duc, and the French fly-half had no problem extending his side's lead to ten points (16-6).

Leinster, famed for their fightback ability, then began edging their way back into the game. Using all their European experience they started pushing Montpellier backwards and started to control proceedings.

Replacement hooker Sean Cronin showed great pace and power to grab Leinster's only try and Sexton's conversion brought the scores to within three.

With the clock showing red, Sexton then cooly slotted his final penalty. And the rest, as they say, is history.

The scorers:

For Montpellier:
Tries: Ouedraogo
Cons: Paillaugue
Pens: Paillaugue 2, Trinh-Duc

For Leinster:
Tries: Cronin
Cons: Sexton
Pens: Sexton 3

Montpellier: 15 Lucas Amorosino, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Santiago Fernandez, 11 Yoan Audrin, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Benoit Paillaugue, 8 Masi Matadigo, 7 Mamuka Gorgodze, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 5 Thibaut Privat, 4 Mickael Demarco, 3 Maximiliano Bustos, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Na'ama Leleimalefaga.
Replacements: 16 Rassie Jansen Van Vuuren, 17 Mikheil Nariashvili, 18 George Jgenti, 19 Drickus Hancke, 20 Rémy Martin, 21 Julien Tomas, 22 Paul Bosch, 23 Martin Bustos Moyano.

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Isa Nacewa, 13 Fergus McFadden, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Damian Browne, 4 Leo Cullen, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Heinke Van Der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Nathan White, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Shane Jennings, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Eoin O'Malley.

Referee: Dave Pearson (England)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks15:15
Castres vs Leinster13:00
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh vs Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Preview
Friday , October 24
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Brive vs Zebre18:30
Grenoble vs London Irish18:30
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Newcastle19:30
Edinburgh vs LOU Rugby19:45
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade Francais14:00
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs Connacht15:00
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs Lions17:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki vs Tasman19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Western Province 31 - 23 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 49 - 30 AucklandTaranaki vs Auckland Report
Manawatu 23 - 18 Southland
Tasman 26 - 6 CanterburyTasman vs Canterbury Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bordeaux-Begles 13 - 15 EdinburghBordeaux-Begles vs Edinburgh Report
Newcastle 43 - 19 Bucuresti
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615