Jimmy Gopperth’s late penalty seals narrow win for Leinster

Outhalf lands key kick to secure victory in Italy

Leinster’s Jimmy Gopperth tackles Alberto Sgarbi of Treviso during the Pro12 game at Stadio Monigo. Photograph:  Elena Barbini/Inpho

Leinster’s Jimmy Gopperth tackles Alberto Sgarbi of Treviso during the Pro12 game at Stadio Monigo. Photograph: Elena Barbini/Inpho

Sun, Nov 24, 2013, 17:42

Benetton Treviso 20 Leinster 21: Jimmy Gopperth’s late penalty saw Leinster claim a narrow RaboDirect Pro12 victory over Benetton Treviso at the Stadio Monigo on Sunday.

Tries from Lote Tuqiri and Noel Reid put the visitors in the driving seat early on, but Treviso fought back with a Ludovico Nitoglia score and the kicking of flyhalf Matt Berquist.

It then looked as if Angelo Esposito’s try would hand the home side the win, before Gopperth’s decisive intervention ensured the contest finished 21-20 to Leinster.

Following a missed penalty from Gopperth, Leinster powered ahead through Tuqiri and Reid’s efforts, which came in the 13th and 15th minutes.

Gopperth failed to convert after the first try but made no mistake second time around.

Treviso’s response got under way midway through the first half via a penalty from Berquist, who then converted Nitoglia’s try as the hosts reduced the deficit to two points.

Gopperth extended the gap once more after the break with penalties on 47 and 53 minutes, but again Treviso responded well and Berquist’s boot made it 18-13.

Esposito then crossed on the hour and with Berquist converting, it appeared the champions were heading for defeat.

But Gopperth kept his cool towards the end to seal Leinster’s triumph. They move up to third, while Treviso stay 10th.

BENETTON TREVISO: B Williams; L Nitoglia, A Pratichetti, C Loamanu, A Esposito; M Berquist, F Semenzato; A De Marchi, F Sbaraglini, I Fernandez-Rouyet; M Fuser, C Van Zyl; M Vosawai, D Budd, M Filippucci. Replacements: A Sgarbi for Loamanu (49 mins), A Di Bernardo for Berquist (75 mins), P Di Santo for De Marchi (75 mins), E Ceccato for Sbaraglini (49 mins), M Muccignat for Fernandez-Rouyet (75 mins), A Pavanello for Fuser (49 mins), F Giusti for Pavanello (66 mins). Not used: J Ambrosini.

LEINSTER: D Hudson; L Tuqiri, B Macken, N Reid, D Fanning; J Gopperth, J Cooney; M Bent, A Dundon, M Moore; T Denton, Q Roux; R Ruddock, S Jennings, L Auva’a. Replacements: Z Kirchner for Hudson (47 mins), E Reddan for Cooney (51 mins), T Furlong for Moore (75 mins), J Murphy for Roux (75 mins), B Marshall for Auva’a (55 mins). Not used: J Tracy, J O’Connell, C O’Shea.

Attendance: 6,000