Leinster got their first win of the Magners League campaign by defeating the Dragons 23-14 at the RDS on Saturday evening…Sean O’Brien Post Match Reaction…
Speaking after the game, Setanta Man of the Match Sean O’Brien said: "It was a very important result. We had to bounce back after last week’s defeat and it was a good win, so we’re happy.
"With so much competition in the pack I’m not that fussed where I play. So long as I play! We stepped it up a gear (after the second half substitutions) and we’re trying to build all the time. So we’re happy, but we know that we have areas to improve."
Jonathan Sexton kicked Leinster into a half-time 9-6 lead with three penalties – on 3, 20 and 35 minutes – after a see-saw first half in which Leinster showed good defence and dominance up front, but lacked an edge in attack. James Arlidge replied for the Dragons with penalties on 17 and 41 minutes.
A series of substitutions, including new signings Nathan Hines and Eoin Reddan, lifted the home side and it was a third sub, Gordon D’Arcy, who provided the assist to Isa Nacewa’s try on 54 minutes after a good move involving Reddan and a superb looping pass from Sexton.
Sexton’s conversion narrowly fell wide of the upright, but a Shaun Berne drop goal on 58 minutes adding more daylight between the two teams. At 17-6 the Dragons looked all but dead and buried, but credit to them as they got back in the game through a Martyn Thomas try. Sexton added a 76th penalty, which Arlidge replied with another kick in the closing moments, before Berne’s second drop goal of the night in injury time denied the Welsh side a losing bonus point.
LEINSTER SCORERS: I. Nacewa (1 try), J. Sexton (4 penalties), S. Berne (2 drop goals)
DRAGONS SCORERS: M. Thomas (1 try), J. Arlidge (2 penalties, 1 drop goal)
15: Isa Nacewa
14: Shane Horgan
13: Fergus McFadden
12: Shaun Berne
11: David Kearney (Gordon D’Arcy, 53)
10: Jonathan Sexton
9: Chris Keane (Eoin Reddan, 52)
1: Cian Healy
2: John Fogarty
3: Mike Ross (Stan Wright, 62)
4: Leo Cullen CAPTAIN
5: Devin Toner (Nathan Hines, 52)
6: Kevin McLaughlin (Simon Keogh, 85)
7: Shane Jennings
8: Sean O’Brien (Stephen Keogh, 77)
REPLACEMENT NOT USED: Jason Harris-Wright
DRAGONS: Martyn Thomas, Aled Brew, Tom Riley, Ashley Smith, Richard Fussell, James Arlidge, Wayne Evans, Ali McKenzie, Steve Jones, Nigel Hall, Robert Sidoli, Luke Charteris CAPTAIN, Dan Lydiate, Gavin Thomas, Grant Webb
REPLACEMENTS: Duane Goodfield, Hugh Gustafson, Gethin Robinson, Adam Jones, James Harris, Jason Tovey, Alex Walker
REFEREE: Graham Knox (SRU), ASSISTANT REFEREES: David Wilkinson (IRFU), Jonathan Peake (IRFU), 4th OFFICIAL: John Montayne (ARLB), 5th OFFICIAL: Nigel Correll (ARLB), TMO: Tony Redmond (IRFU)