A last gasp drop goal from Jonathan Sexton helped Leinster seal a gutsy 21-19 win over league leaders Edinburgh in a tensely fought Magners League encounter at Murrayfield on Saturday evening…
Speaking after the game Setanta Man of the Match Fergus McFadden: “We’re very happy to come out of this game with a win because Edinburgh are a top class team who have been in excellent form.
“We were probably a bit lucky to get out of jail at the end but we’ll take the win. We didn’t play great rugby so there’ll be no sense of complacency ahead of next weekend’s game against Munster. We know that we’ll need to raise our game once more.
“The resilience that we showed was a positive for us and we have now won our last three games, so we’re happy with the result, if not the performance.”
McFadden kicked the visitors into an early 3-0 lead with a penalt, but Chris Paterson replied with efforts of his own on nine and 31 minutes, before a late kick from McFadden in an otherwise scrappy half left the scores level 6-6 at the interval.
Leinster began the second period with great purpose and Luke Fitzgerald and Shane Horgan were constant menaces.
McFadden kicked two quick penalties in five minutes before Edinburgh centre Ben Cairns sliced through a gap in the Leinster rearguard to score a try, which Paterson converted, to push the hosts back into a slender one point lead.
McFadden added two more penalties on the hour mark and six minutes later before further Paterson penalties on 72 and 78 minutes looked to have sealed it for the hosts.
But substitute Jonathan Sexton capitalised on some superb forward pressure to slot home a drop goal in the 79th minute which looked to have sealed the points.
A potential late sting in the tale for Leinster loomed as Edinburgh were awarded an injury time penalty but Paterson’s kick fell wide and the visitors held on to win their third successive bounce.
EDINBURGH SCORERS: B. Cairns (1 try), C. Paterson (4 penalties, 1 conversion)
LEINSTER SCORERS: F. McFadden (5 penalties), J. Sexton (1 drop goal)
15: Chris Paterson
14: Mark Robertson
13: Ben Cairns
12: Nick De Luca
11: Tim Visser
10: Phil Godman
9: Mike Blair CAPTAIN
1: Kyle Traynor
2: Ross Ford
3: Geoff Cross
4: Craig Hamilton
5: Scott MacLeod
6: Alan MacDonald
7: Roddy Grant
8: Allister Hogg
REPLACEMENTS: Andrew Kelly, Allan Jacobsen, Ryan Grant/Davie Young, Steve Turnbull, Scott Newlands, Greig Laidlaw, John Houston
15: Rob Kearney
14: Shane Horgan
13: Fergus McFadden
12: Gordon D’Arcy
11: Luke Fitzgerald
10: Shaun Berne (Jonathan Sexton, half time)
9: Eoin Reddan
1: Cian Healy
2: John Fogarty (Bernard Jackman, 53)
3: Stan Wright (Mike Ross, 53)
4: Leo Cullen CAPTAIN
5: Nathan Hines (Devin Toner, 72)
6: Kevin McLaughlin (Shane Jennings, 53)
7: Sean O’Brien
8: Jamie Heaslip
REPLACEMENTS NOT USED: Simon Keogh, Girvan Dempsey
REFEREE: Tim Hayes (WRU), ASSISTANT REFEREES: Graham Knox (SRU), Bob Nevins (SRU), TMO: Jim Yuille (SRU)