Leinster opened their Heineken Cup campaign with a disappointing 12-9 defeat at home to London Irish in the RDS on Friday evening…Michael Cheika Post Match Reaction…
Speaking after the game, Leinster Coach Michael Cheika said: "It was a bit of an arm wrestle at times and we had no flow, especially in the ruck area. The French referee had a different interpretation at the ruck and that created a stop-start nature with lots of penalties.
"At the end of the day though we have to take responsibility for our own performance. We’ve been here before, five years ago after losing at home to Bath in the first round, and we came back.
"London Irish are a good team. I think that tonight’s result was a combination of them being good and us being poor. Sometimes the game goes like that. It was a close game, not very pretty, and we know that we have to improve ahead of a tough game in France next week."
Jonathan Sexton got the hosts off to a good start with a penalty after three minutes, but Exiles full-back Peter Hewat replied seven minutes later. On 12 minutes Sexton doubled his side’s advantage and Leinster looked in control with Brian O’Driscoll a constant thorn and Shane Jennings making great gains.
A Hewat penalty on the stroke of half-time levelled the scores once more and after the interval Ryan Lamb kicked the visitors into a 9-6 lead.
Sexton drew the scores level on 75 minutes, but a late Lamb penalty, his second successful kick of the night, edged the game for London Irish.
LEINSTER SCORERS: J. Sexton (3 penalties)
LONDON IRISH SCORERS: P. Hewat, R. Lamb (2 penalties each)
15: Isa Nacewa (Rob Kearney, 54)
14: Shane Horgan
13: Brian O’Driscoll
12: Gordon D’Arcy (Rob Kearney, 29-33, blood)
11: Luke Fitzgerald
10: Jonathan Sexton
9: Eoin Reddan
1: Cian Healy
2: John Fogarty (Bernard Jackman, 54)
3: Mike Ross
4: Leo Cullen CAPTAIN
5: Nathan Hines
6: Kevin McLaughlin (Sean O’Brien, 54)
7: Shane Jennings
8: Jamie Heaslip
REPLACEMENTS NOT USED: Ronan McCormack, CJ van der Linde, Malcolm O’Kelly, Simon Keogh, Shaun Berne
LONDON IRISH: 15: Peter Hewat, 14: Tom Homer, 13: Elvis Seveali’i, 12: Seilala Mapusua, 11: Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10: Chris Malone, 9: Paul Hodgson; 1: Clarke Dermody, 2: David Paice, 3: Faan Rautenbach, 4: Nick Kennedy, 5: Bob Casey CAPTAIN, 6: Declan Danaher, 7: Steffon Armitage, 8: Chris Hala’ufia
REPLACEMENTS: 16: Danie Coetzee, 17: Dan Murphy, 18: Paulica Ion, 19: Andy Perry, 20: Richard Thorpe, 21: Ryan Lamb, 22: Jamie Lennard, 23: Alfredo Lalanne
REFEREE: Romain Poite (FFR), ASSISTANT REFEREES: Eric Soulan (FFR), Bernard Dal Maso (FFR), 4th OFFICIAL: Paul Haycock (ARLB), 5th OFFICIAL: Ken Henley-Willis (ARLB), TMO: Jean Christophe Gastou (FFR)