Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Jonathan Sexton had the final say at Thomond Park this weekend as he kicked Leinster to a 16-15 victory over fierce rivals Munster in a tense Magners League all Irish derby.
It was the battle of the flyhalfs as Sexton was up against Ireland stalwart Ronan OGara, and from the get go the battle was clear for all to see as OGara was pumped up after charging down a Sexton kick.
The game was niggly throughout and had more than its fair share of incident, with penalties and yellow cards ruling the tense encounter. The one try in the match was a superb effort that was finished off well by Irish fullback Rob Kearney.
Sexton, despite coming out on top in the end, actually missed a few kicks and was under a fair amount of pressure as his Test rival OGara kicked all Munsters 15 points.
The young flyhalf showed his temperament though as shortly after missing an important kick, he stepped up to slot the deciding one after OGara was penalised.
Man of the Match Jamie Heaslip later compared the encounter to a Test match.
"That was right up there with any international match in terms of intensity. It's always nice to beat Munster, but we know that it was a battle and we just came out on top," he said.
"We have faith in our defence and we didn't panic and there were confrontations all over the pitch. We're not going to let this win go to our heads.
"Although it's good to have a bit more space between us at the top of the league, we have a lot of hard games coming up, particularly next week's one against Clermont Auvergne," he added.
Leinster now have a seven-point advantage at the top of the Magners League and are looking good ahead of their Heineken Cup quarter final match with Clermont.
As mentioned above, there was only the one try in the match so these highlights include a few of the yellow card incidents, as well as the final winning kick.