Unbeaten Leinster knocks Montpellier out

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 16:25
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EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Leinster finished top of Pool Three with a 100 percent record and top seeding in the quarterfinals as they knocked Montpellier out of the competition.

Last year's semifinalists Leinster started strongly and took the lead after a thrilling line break by James Lowe enabled Ross Byrne to dot down in the corner. He missed the conversion but soon added a penalty.

There was little happening for Montpellier until two quick-fire tries, both stemming from line-outs.

Bismarck Du Plessis drove over in a maul, then Yacouba Camara crossed after a nice offload by Louis Picamoles.

The hosts had their tails up at half time, but never looked like getting the two further tries they needed to secure a bonus point and keep their quarter-final chances alive. Robbie Henshaw's try was swiftly followed by a Ross Byrne penalty which restored Leinster's lead.

From a five-metre line-out, the Irishmen then scored again, James Ryan's wonderful handling allowing Sean Cronin to dive over.

That was the way it stayed as the visiting defence looked impenetrable against a fading Montpellier challenge.

The scorers:

For Montpellier:
Tries:
 B du Plessis, Camara
Cons: Cruden 2

For Leinster:
Tries:
Byrne, Henshaw, Cronin
Cons: Byrne
Pens: Byrne 2

 

Teams:

Montpellier: 15 Benjamin Fall, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Frans Steyn, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Yacouba Camara, 6 Kelian Galletier, 5 Konstantine Mikautadze, 4 Nicholaas Van Rensburg, 3 Antoine Guillamon, 2 Bismarck Du Plessis, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili.
Replacements: 16 Romain Ruffenach, 17 Yvan Watremez, 18 Mohamed Haouas, 19 Julien Delannoy, 20 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 21 Gela Aprasidze, 22 Joe Tomane, 23 Jesse Mogg.

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Jordan Larmour, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Isa Nacewa (captain), 11 James Lowe, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Dan Leavy, 5 James Ryan, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Seán Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Bryan Byrne, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Ross Molony, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Fergus McFadden.

Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Ian Tempest (England), Peter Allan (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)

Source: @ChampionsCup

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Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
La Rochelle 6 4 0 2 20
Wasps 6 3 0 3 17
Ulster 6 4 0 2 17
Harlequins 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 22
Saracens 6 3 1 2 18
Ospreys 6 2 1 3 15
Northampton Saints 6 1 0 5 6
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 6 6 0 0 27
Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 15
Montpellier 6 2 0 4 13
Glasgow Warriors 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
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Racing Metro 6 4 0 2 19
Castres 6 2 1 3 12
Leicester Tigers 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Scarlets 6 4 0 2 21
Toulon 6 4 0 2 19
Bath 6 4 0 2 18
Treviso 6 0 0 5 4