Jacques Burger's tackling masterclass


Brian O'Driscoll brilliance against NZ


Scrumhalf Frae Wilson smashes lock


Sebastien Chabal knocks out Marc Giraud


Malakai Fekitoa smashes Conrad Smith


Random great tries from 2008


Friday Funnies - Alex Grove's freak try


Ben May nearly scores greatest prop try


The old ball in the jersey trick

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

London Irish go out after tense draw with Leinster

London Irish go out after tense draw with Leinster

Another low scoring Heineken Cup match ended in frantic fashion this past weekend as London Irish and Leinster drew 11-11 at Twickenham, knocking out London Irish despite them coming close to the win in the end.

Leinster top the group with the Exiles finishing third behind the Scarlets. Coach Toby Booth had mixed emotions as his side went out of the tournament following the tense match.

"I'm not feeling suicidal," Booth said. "Strange as it may seem, my first emotion is I'm proud of what we've achieved in this Heineken Cup campaign, to be honest."

"To be undefeated against the team that holds the trophy, and to go to their back garden and win, tells me we can live at the top table of European rugby.

"The damage was not done tonight, it was done in rounds two and five. While you can have some indifferent performances in the Guinness Premiership, if you have them in the Heineken Cup, you can't recover.

"It's part of the continued improvement that we need, this ability to perform when we feel less threatened. It's about moving from happy underdog to expectant favourite and we need to learn that at this club," he added.

Leinster flyhalf Jonny Sexton slotted a wobbly late drop goal that brought his side back up to 11-11 following a penalty from Chris Malone.

Malone had an eventful night though as he scored the only try, but had a poor goalkicking night, as well as narrowly missing two potentially match winning drop goals at the death.

"Chris is very honest," Booth said. "Before the game, he was an 85% goalkicker and he had made his last eight kicks in a row. It can happen to anyone.

"You are either a hero or villain playing No 10 and I was the villain tonight. That's the way it goes, said Malone himself.

"I knew I had the legs to hit those drop goals but just didn't hit the last one straight enough. But we did ourselves in earlier in the Pool with bad results."


Time: 04:10
Note: Now updated to include the dramatic last few minutes

Posted at 3:21 pm | 31 comments

Viewing 31 comments

Oli January 26, 2010 3:26 pm

Johnny Sexton is ridiculously talented

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Anonymous January 26, 2010 3:30 pm

somethings not right when a guy gets sinbinned for protecting his team mate but the twat the attacked him gets away with it

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Anonymous January 26, 2010 3:43 pm

hmmm yea i wouldn't say he attacked him... more like just handbags, cain healy really should know a bit better. I mean if he'd of caught him well that could be a red card and suspension.

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theboss January 26, 2010 3:44 pm

in the action it probably looked like a punch to the ref/assistant refs who probably didn't have a clear view of the incident. Fair enough said Healy and trotted off without complaint. That's rugby, you win some you lose some.

Tense game as well, despite the scoreline. C'mon Leinster!

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Nicky07 January 26, 2010 4:23 pm

I think all Northamton fans should give a big nice thank you to a certain mister Johnny Sexton!!

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Nicky07 January 26, 2010 4:23 pm

I think all Northamton fans should give a big nice thank you to a certain mister Johnny Sexton!!

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geordie January 26, 2010 4:23 pm

miles harrison loved that game such a ledgend but why didnt you show the best part of the game the two missed drop goals at the end

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Anonymous January 26, 2010 4:27 pm

o'gara had a shocker

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Conor January 26, 2010 4:45 pm

not the best tackling wise from Leinster! But Sexton is a LEGEND!!!

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R lamb January 26, 2010 4:59 pm

has chris malone ever been any good
he has always looked like someone who dosent really give a shit

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Anonymous January 26, 2010 5:51 pm

myles harrison pisses me off, 80% of what he says is rediculous and pointless, saying that he has improved in the last month or so. And to the game I thought Darcy was excellent! london I ridh never got going i feel and delon armitage looked shaky at times but it was his first game back .

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Mike January 26, 2010 6:04 pm

About the forward passes - it seems to me a lot of people, including the commentators, don't realise that the ball IS allowed to travel forward, as long as it is backwards or flat in relation to the passer and the receiver. If you are running fast and you throw a flat pass, the ball will travel forwards over the ground, but it is ok. The passes called forward in this game were close, I'm not 100% sure either way, but it certainly was not as clear-cut as the commentaors seemed to think.

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Maximus January 26, 2010 8:32 pm

Mike, I don't want to disagree just for the sake of disagreeing but:
"A throw forward occurs when a player throws or passes the ball forward.
Forward means towards the opposing teams dead ball line." IRB website

As a consequence, there is no way a ball is allowed to travel forward even if, and I agree with this, it sometimes goes unnoticed because of the players' movements.

Concerning the more or less unfair sin-binning, why not adapt a hockey rule when 2 players are fighting? The third one getting involved (automatically starting the massive following brawl) is out and then the situation could be checked thanks to the video. Thus, the player who acts badly gets penalized AND looks like a shitbag in front of the whole stadium. (imagine a player gougeing and spotted)

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Mike January 26, 2010 8:55 pm

Maximus - I see the point of confusion here: a player can throw the ball in a way that is not towards the opposing try line, and yet it will still travel towards it. Check out this official training video for Aussie refs for a nice explanation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgMlDy2jP9s

View Video

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SextonOnFire January 26, 2010 9:21 pm

Geez dont say your comment twice or anything nicky07.

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Anonymous January 26, 2010 9:48 pm

ironically malone was London Irish's saviour and murderer! had it not been for his drop goal and try they wouldnt have been in contention, yet it was his missed kicks (particularly easy drop goals) that cost him the whole thing in the end! poor bloke. and sexton for 10!

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Anonymous January 26, 2010 9:54 pm

o'gara played awful

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Anonymous January 26, 2010 10:33 pm

Bob Casey is a tinker

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Maximus January 26, 2010 10:36 pm

Actually I had already seen this video but had never really watched it, not being a native speaker I can easily turn my English understanding side off. And to be honest, the moment I clicked on "publish" I was sure you'd send me this link.
Interesting anyway. I'll see the ref a bit differently now, poor guy trying to judge intentions of throwing the ball backwards and not only ball directions.

We must play the only game including "intentions" to its rules btw.

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Anonymous January 26, 2010 11:22 pm

i think this forward passing debate is good. For an example, i reckon Super 14 is incredibly lenient in this department.
O'driscoll and Darcy, best centre partnership ever..

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Mike January 26, 2010 11:29 pm

Maximus, you write English better than a lot of native speakers! Wow, I thought you were a native.

Anyway, in that Youtube video, it's not really English, it's Australian that they are speaking :)

Only kidding Aussies!

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Anonymous January 27, 2010 11:42 am

I thought the whole ball travelling forward thing was road tested in league but seen as a nightmare to regulate so was binned, might be wrong...

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Maximus January 27, 2010 1:24 pm

Now, with anonymous comment just above, I'd like to have a ref opinion about that forward pass thing (interesting as it is, it's true that the video seems a bit old).

Fellow RD posters, if there's one ref among us, his time to shine has come! Let's try to settle this.

Mike, thanks for the compliment, I do my best.

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MCB January 27, 2010 1:40 pm

D'Arcy had big game, best since returning from injury. Sexton has improved immensely over d last year, showed his ability wit dat drop goal. Still not a fan of his tho. I'd say Leinster cud hav upped their game a lot if they needed a win 2 qualify.

Dunno why some anonymous ppl r sayin O'Gara had a shocker. Played well against northampton but was relatively quiet. As a Munster fan I wud prefer 2 be playin London Irish than Saints

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manzana January 27, 2010 2:00 pm

Bit of bath vs ulster highlights please RD Trimble's try easily the best so far this season

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Third Centre January 27, 2010 2:44 pm

Agree Trimble's try was class and Grewcock's stamp was pretty nasty.

Thought the big momet in this was Irish not taking a drop goal but going for the try when they were in the perfect position for the kick!!!

Was it just just lack of confidence on Malone's part or do you think it was a rehearsed move ?

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Vive la France January 27, 2010 4:56 pm

Hummm,nothing about french clubs...RD talks about Munster-Northampton,Ospreys-Leicester,Irish-leinster,just the end of season for Edinburgh against Paris,on this 6th hcup day.Nothing about the four french club qualified for 1/4 final:Biarritz(Home match),Toulouse(Home match),Clermont and Paris...

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Mike January 27, 2010 6:22 pm

Hopefully someone will make highlights of the French games and we can talk about them there. I think there is little doubt a French team will win it now, with the final and both semi-finals(!) happening in France.

I would prefer one French team versus a team from another country in the final, then it will be a great occasion. I was at the Wasps vs Leicester final a few years back in Twickenham and it was a little bit...flat. The international element is what makes this competition great.

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Anonymous January 28, 2010 1:32 am

In league, fi the ball goes forward, it's forward.
That's it.
In union the law is weird, it has to do with the passing motion. If a guy passes it backwards (ie his hands move backwards and release the ball as they do so) then it doesn't matter if ti travels forward.
The league is easier to understand, but the truth is, as the video demonstrates, many, many passes are forward simply due to basic physics.
If you are running forward and pass backwards, the ball wil continue to travel forward thru the air even as it travels on an angle backwards.
Crazy stuff.

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Phil January 28, 2010 11:18 am

It's all to do with relativity and which frame of reference the ball is being compared to.

Relative to the player the ball travels backwards, but relative to the field the ball travels forward.

I always thought that it was refereed by the motion of the hands, whereby if the hands are positioned in a backwards or flat direction then it's deemed legal.

Although crunching tackles that stop the passing player in their tracks sort of exaggerates the forward movement of the ball.

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Anonymous February 06, 2010 1:44 pm

Well I to but I contemplate the collection should have more info then it has.

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