Leinster snatch late draw

2011-11-12 17:56
Jonathan Sexton (File)

Paris - A penalty in the final seconds from Leinster flyhalf Jonathan Sexton helped salvage a 16-16 draw for the champions at Heineken Cup debutants Montpellier on Saturday in their opening Pool 3 clash.

The French side were on the verge of a deserved victory until Sexton, who had missed an earlier penalty from roughly the same distance and angle, stepped up and got his side what could prove to be a crucial share of the points.

His kick also prevented Leinster from emulating their team-mates two years ago when they became the first defending champions to lose their opening match of the title defence.

Montpellier took the lead in the third minute as Leinster conceded a penalty, with scrumhalf Benoit Paillaugue converting only for Sexton to level the match two minutes later.

Sexton gave Leinster the lead with a penalty but in what was end to end running play it was the hosts who regained the initiative.

Argentinian Lucas Amorosino broke down a Leinster attack in his own 22 and then hacked it clear before gathering and offloading to Fulgence Ouedraogo.

The France backrow forward and club captain ran in unopposed to touch down under the posts and his try was converted by Paillaugue to send the home support wild.

Leinster were rattled and captain Leo Cullen was penalised for an infringement in the line-out - Paillaugue slotted over the penalty to make it 13-6 to Montpellier.

There was no let-up for the Irish province at the beginning of the second-half as Mamuka Gorgodze and Remy Martin tore holes in the Irish defence and it was only a terrific tackle by Ireland centre Gordon D'Arcy that prevented another home try.

Georgian star flanker Gorgodze was in imperious form and another of his breaks provoked another Leinster infringement, for which they were punished by France flyhalf Francois Trinh-Duc who converted the penalty to make it 16-6 in the 55th minute.

Leinster were making ground into the hosts' 22 but on each occasion they failed to put their chances away and turned the ball over.

Sexton blew a great opportunity to reduce the deficit with a penalty miss from almost in front of the posts but the visitors shrugged that off minutes later as Cronin touched down after being set up by D'Arcy.

The replacement hooker was brought down by Gorgodze but he got to his feet and barrelled over - Sexton made no mistake with the conversion to leave them trailing by just three points with 15 minutes remaining.

Montpellier produced some sterling defence with Leinster again camped on their line, somehow holding the omni-present Cronin up on the line and then regaining possession to clear it upfield.

In Saturday's other early matches London Irish and Edinburgh fought out a tight match with the Scottish side pulling off a 20-19 victory outscoring their opponents by two tries to one with Lee Jones and Stuart McInally touching down for them.

Former champions Leicester cruised to a 28-12 victory in their away match with Italian side Aironi, scoring three tries.

Heineken Cup results on Saturday:

Pool 1:

At Llanelli, Wales

Scarlets (WAL) 31 Castres (FRA) 23

At Limerick, Republic of Ireland

Munster (IRL) 23 Northampton (ENG) 21

Pool 2:

At Reading, England

London Irish (ENG) 19 Edinburgh (SCO) 20

Pool 3:

At Montpellier, France

Montpellier (FRA) 16 Leinster (IRL) 16

Pool 4:

At Viadana, Italy

Aironi (ITA) 12 Leicester (ENG) 28

At Belfast

Ulster (IRL) 16 Clermont (FRA) 11

Pool 5:

At Swansea, Wales

Ospreys (WAL) 28 Biarritz (FRA) 21

Played on Friday:

Pool 2:

At Paris

Racing Metro (FRA) 20 Cardiff Blues (WAL) 26

Pool 6:

At London

Harlequins (ENG) 25 Connacht (IRL) 17

Playing On Sunday:

Pool 3:

At Glasgow

(12:45) Glasgow (SCO) v Bath (ENG)

Pool 5:

At Watford, England

(1500) Saracens (ENG) v Treviso (ITA)

Pool 6:

At Toulouse, France

(15:00) Toulouse (FRA) v Gloucester (ENG)

Read more on:    heineken cup  |  jonathan sexton


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Quiz: Test your Rio Olympics memory!

Think you know what went on at the Rio Olympics? Prove it by tackling Sport24's ridiculously impossible yet highly addictive post-Games quiz!


Rio Olympics

GALLERY: SA's Rio Olympic medallists
As it happened: Rio Olympics - Day 17
Selecting 6 numbers turned Britain into Olympic superpower
Caster cranks up the heat in Rio semi
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


Follow all the action from the 2016 Rio Olympics. The highs, the lows, the tears, the smiles as the world's greatest athletes compete for gold, silver and bronze.

Latest blogs

The Kings will play this year's Currie Cup in the "B" First Division. How will this impact their Super Rugby participation next year?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.