Sexton's last-gasp drop goal seals win


Treviso 18 Leinster 19:Jonny Sexton's last-gasp drop goal helped Leinster edge past Treviso at the Stadio Monigo to move into the top half of the RaboDirect Pro12 table.

Brian O’Driscoll, Sexton and Jamie Heaslip, skipper on the day, all started for the first time this season, as Leinster looked to follow up last week’s thumping 45-25 success over the Dragons.

But when Fabio Semenzato crossed with a minute remaining, and Kris Burton converted to give Treviso the lead, it looked as though the internationals’ return would be in vain.

However with time virtually up Sexton kept his nerve and fired the ball through the uprights to give Leinster the points.

In the first half it was the home side who looked the more threatening and Treviso took a deserved 8-3 lead into the break.

Joe Schmidt clearly wanted a reaction from his team and got it almost immediately as O’Driscoll crossed after just four minutes of the second half, and from there last season’s runners-up showed all their experience to keep the Italians at bay.

Treviso, who had started the season with a home success over reigning champions the Ospreys before losing at Munster last time out, got off the mark through outhalf Alberto Di Bernardo after a quarter of an hour.

Kevin McLaughlin was another of Leinster’s international contingent in the starting line-up but when he was sent to the sin bin, Treviso took full advantage.

Although Di Bernardo missed a shot at goal, Italy backrow Robert Barbieri crashed over for the first try of the game to extend the lead to 8-0.

On the half hour Sexton finally got Leinster on the board with a penalty and that was how it stayed until the break.

It was in the second half that Leinster showed their experience, with Ireland skipper O'Driscoll producing a trademark break from midfield to cross under the posts for his first try of the season. Sexton converted to give the visitors the lead, and then extended that advantage with a penalty just before the hour mark.

Leinster were then dealt a blow as hooker Richardt Strauss had to be stretchered off, to be replaced by Seán Cronin.

Italy international Kris Burton was on the pitch by now and he kept his nerve on 66 minutes to reduce the Leinster lead to just two points.

However with five minutes remaining Sexton was again on target with a penalty to stretch the lead back to five points.

Replacement Semenzato then pounced with what looked like the winning try, converted by Burton, only for Sexton to break Italian hearts at the death.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Screen Name Selection


Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.